The World Wide Web was always destined to become the Wild, Wild West. Doesn't matter how far we evolve, humans will always have an appetite for sex, gambling and deplorable shit. The Internet can be your own little Al Swearengen; there's even the anonymous "Dark Web," immune to search engines, which is an encrypted haven for drugs, porn and money laundering. Still, the scariest part of our online existence continues to be the validation of any absurd thought or uneducated opinion. Think Justin Bieber is a reptile? There's video proof somewhere, man. Believe the earth is flat? There's a website for that. You can even find out how three year old Barack Obama played a role in JFK's assassination. They're only half-serious.
But forget fake news. Ever since Facebook infested the mainstream, the real danger comes from the massive echo chamber that social media naturally constructs for its loyal users. Polarization has become so prominent, there's almost no entry point for polite, political debate. That's why I created this (arguably) non-partisan list of things we must agree on before talking politics:
1) Admit that President Obama is a decent citizen. And, by all accounts, he’s a devoted husband and father. Born in America. Not a terrorist. Not going to force a third term (you laugh, but a bogus article detailing Obama's plan to repeal the 22nd Amendment was shared over 16,000 times). Better yet, let me bring in Senator McCain to break this down for the ignorant:
Now that we’ve finally gotten past those basic acknowledgements, you have permission to come at me with your Affordable Care Act criticisms…and I may even concur. Gallup Polling shows Obama with a higher approval rating than Saint Reagan in 1988, but I'd concede that BarryO was a typically-average POTUS.
2. Realize that Donald Trump loves America. His vision may be a bit too archaic and uncouth for most civilized progressives to digest, but his primary motivation is prosperity for all. Why else would he waste his p***y-grabbling Golden Years in the White House, feuding with bureaucrats and tweeting about Megyn Kelly and LL Bean?
3. Spare me the character judgments from social justice warriors. Trump's womanizing is the least of my concerns, just like Bill Clinton's infidelity didn't affect his ability to successfully govern. The more we obsess over moral outrage, the less focus there'll be on Trump's seventy five-word vocabulary, junior high diplomacy skills and incomprehension of how government works.
4. Stop bitching about Celebrities. More power to Meryl Streep if she wants to waste an acceptance speech on the poisonous politics of our time. Conservatives aren’t allowed to bitch about Hollywood pontifications, especially when THE BIGGEST CELEBRITY OF ALL is our President-Elect. You do realize that The Donald was the Paris Hilton of the 1980s, right? He paved the way for our Kardashian-culture by being famous for nothing, eventually parlaying a lowbrow, semi-entertaining TV show into a reality-fiction presidency. If he ran as the New York liberal that he probably still is, the family-values GOP would be lionizing Streep right now. And, for the record, she can act. I mean- did you see her outwit Kevin Bacon and John C Reilly in The River Wild?
5. No sharing or citing articles from Allen West, Occupy Democrats, Right Wing News or any other Facebook page catering to extreme ideology. It's click-bait trash. It's lemon-yellow journalism. And it's the main reason we're in this mess.
6. No name-calling, please. Perhaps the most damaging repercussion from the rise of Trump is the lack of civility demonstrated throughout his campaign. Trump knowingly used a pro-wrestling persona to ignite supporters, but the line between act and action was frighteningly blurred by a faction of his angry lot.
7. Understand that Education is not a bad thing. Memo to the fear-mongers who maintain that American Colleges and Universities are Factories of Liberalism. I minored in Political Science at the biggest school in the country, and not a single one of my professors revealed their political allegiance. Instead, they taught me to think critically. I once wrote that baby-boomers came of age worshipping politicians but, here in the world of GenX, we use our inherent skepticism and hard-earned adroitness to sniff out the axioms. That started on campus. Politicians, right or left, have to prove it to our generation.
8. NO MEMES. I'm on Facebook to hear your original ideas, not to browse misspelled cliches from Willy Wonka, Henry Hill, Kermit the Frog, Captain Picard, Leo DiCap on New Year's Eve or Michael Jackson in a movie theatre.
Texans (+16.5) over Patriots, 1 Dime
Stillers (pick) over Chiefs, 3 Dimes
Seahawks (+4.5) over Falcons, 1 Dime
Dallas (-5) over Packers, 1 Dime
Last Week: 1-3, -4 Dimes
Career: 154-128, +41 Dimes