Opinion | American selfishness, ignorance elicit lunacy


Photo Courtesy of ajay_suresh / Flickr

An advertisement of the Fox News anchors is pasted on the side of a building in New York City on June 29, 2019. Columnist Dennis Austin argues that America and the citizens who live there are becoming increasingly selfish.

By Dennis Austin, Columnist

We — ladies and gentlemen — have arrived at a crossroads in America. Given that world-renowned scientist and medical expert Dr. Anthony Fauci can draw the ire of the contemptible Jim Jordan, is an indictment on how stupidity has plagued our nation. Not that unintelligent Americans are anything new, more so their existence is annoying.

Of course, it is in our nation’s chromosomes to rebel. The problem is that we are rebelling for no useful purpose. 

On my social media timeline and elsewhere, several people are engaging in conspiracy theories. Memes, GIFs and poorly photoshopped images proclaim that Bill Gates is some evil mastermind who’s out to control, vaccines contain microchips and wearing a mask is Stalin-esque: Yes, donning a mask intended to prevent the spread of a deadly virus is comparable to a corrupt and murderous dictator. 

This display of foolishness shows Americans’ classical ineptitude who cling to their flags and guns while screeching freedom.      

Tee Allen Parker, a bar owner in Texas last year (unsurprising), strung together enough brain cells to utter the words, “We don’t live in a communist country! This is supposed to be America.” For this disturbed ninny to mention that wearing a mask is communist, while doing so in a capitalist country, is an insult to those who suffered under actual communist regimes.      

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For the clowns who stormed the capitol building last year in Michigan against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, you are not the modern version of the American militia that fought for its independence from British tyranny: You are a small group of uncivilized, uncouth buffoons who probably haven’t read the constitution.     

The “video game militia,” who create this fantasy that they are fighting against government tyranny, is our nation’s intellectual rot. It is not the truth they seek, but to fulfill their carnal desires, a figment of their imagination of fighting some boogeyman.      

Thus, it comes without surprise that this usually rowdy bunch went quiet as actual government tyranny manifested in Portland, Oregon. 

During last summer’s social unrest, a military veteran was beaten and bloodied, American citizens were tossed into unmarked vehicles – both incidents committed by unidentified paramilitary officers. Not to mention the presence of militarized police officers who antagonized, provoked and attacked peaceful racial justice activists.      

If you wanted an opportunity to rebel, there it was, in living color. The grotesque display of abuse that we see and abhor in other countries occurred in real time on the streets of a self-proclaimed democracy, yet the “video game militia” has disappeared.     

As for their silence? It’s simple; they don’t care. They never did. 

To them, their protest was more of an affront towards the Democratic Party than it was an actual concern for their neighbors’ civil liberties. Just contrast how “Faux News” covered anti-masks protests versus the developments in Portland. 

Anti-mask demonstrators are rising against the encroachment of government with great valor. The other is a bunch of whiny, leftist, broke, unemployed, wannabe Marxist, twerking millennials who want to destroy America.     

Can we be surprised at this phenomenon? In a country where people lapped up the daily lies of a toddler, white supremacist president for four years, most Americans’ inability to engage in critical thinking is not a shocking development to me.  

Perhaps if we dressed up the coronavirus in a burka, would these faux revolutionaries take this pandemic seriously? After all, America always responds to perceived threats from Brown people in face coverings, saying mean things in a language they don’t understand, which brings me to my next point.     

For decades, conservative media has profited off the ignorance, fears and insecurities of “White America.” The daily drivel from the mouths of Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and company have poisoned political discourse. An absence of editorial ethics has been apparent in this pandemic.   

Last year a study concluded that Sean Hannity was irresponsible in his coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, downplaying the seriousness of this novel virus. The ever-unintelligible — thankfully deceased — Rush Limbaugh proclaimed Dr. Fauci was a “Hillary Clinton sympathizer.”   

Exploitation, not education, is what we witness. These media manipulators are more foe than friend, enemy than ally to America. 

Media organizations are concerned less with these imbeciles broadcasting harmful rhetoric than they are with increasing revenues. They have convinced a segment of the country that masks are symbols of oppression, not objects for their safety.  

This unconscionable stupidity has exacerbated the invisible threat. Although vaccines have begun to roll out, people are still dying, hospital systems continue to be overwhelmed and those who survive have other battles to fight – health care costs and mental, emotional and physical ailments coronavirus left them.     

Our political and media institutions have decided to abdicate leadership, leaving the worst of this country’s instincts to their own devices. The inmates are running the asylum, and we are in trouble.

Dennis is a senior in LAS.

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