This week I had two separate conversations through social media, which appears to be the way we communicate with people more and more often these days. It brought up some very interesting topics and a bit of frustration as well. But I think there is a lesson to be learned and a little bit of encouragement that should be meted out.
The first conversation had to do was someone, a well-known liberal in these parts, castigating me for a post regarding the opinion that the economic shutdown imposed upon us by our governor could last for another 40 weeks. This individual spoke of my comments about the likelihood that so many businesses would never reopen; that we are hurting the emotional and physical development of our children; and suicide and domestic abuse rates are going through the roof; and a number of other I hope, unintended consequences of a prolonged shutdown. This individual fell back on the tried and true liberal tactic of claiming that I wanted to kill people because I was not following mandates and assuming that I was encouraging people to not wear masks, to gather in large crowds, and overall just run wild. This of course, in his opinion, has led to the recent spike in positive coronavirus tests in New Mexico.
We had several exchanges that including me telling him that he was misinterpreting what I said, along with pointing out some of the statistical data regarding the actual mortality rate worldwide and in the United States. I also pointed out that pretty much everywhere you go in the area you see a very high percentage of people wearing masks. Yet here we are.
I furthered my mistake of engaging with this individual, knowing that he has one of the most tightly shut doors in the history of people with closed minds, by pointing out the original lockdown orders were served for the purpose of allowing our medical community to prepare for the inevitable surge of positive cases, a fact he adamantly denied. That is the point. Factual data did nothing to change his mind and only served to increase the anger and personal attacks vented towards me and anyone who replied to his diatribes.
That led to the second conversation with a friend who wondered why I engaged in the first place but was so concerned about our ability not only to convince people to open their minds and consider all the information, but could we convince them that we are being played in several ways, not just with the virus but also related to the election. That leads to today's lesson.
I chose to engage with this individual knowing that I would never convince him of my opinion because one thing I have learned is that I can disseminate the same information I gave to him in a simple post or on the radio show and a few people will read it or consider it. But if I put the very same information into an entertaining battle of wits, even though it was clearly one-sided in my favor, more people will pay attention. We may not realize how many people are actually being informed or motivated to take action when we put the articles or information out there. But I know that people are watching and learning even if it's hard to track or document.
My encouragement was to continue, posting the links to the articles, expressing the opinions in a nonthreatening way because people are watching and listening. We need to encourage them to stay engaged and pay attention to all the information and come to their own conclusion and not the one my liberal acquaintance is being spoonfed by CNN and other media outlets. Most people don't pay attention to what's going on most of the time. Now I believe more people are engaging and wondering what the heck is going on in our society and our country. We must stay engaged and encourage them to speak out. That's the only way we are going to win this fight. And if I have to wallow in the mud with some pigs, so be it.