I was just contemplating the fact that some people I have a high regard for really like this person in the White House. Nothing ever seems to change their mind about him. And really, …there’s been a lot of things. But then again nothing good that he’s done (?) has changed my low opinion of him either. We believe what we believe and look for any evidence to validate that belief.
“In theology, the term ‘theodicy’ refers to the effort to maintain belief in a benevolent god, despite the prevalence of evil in the world; the phrase is occasionally used to describe the effort to maintain any belief in the face of contradictory evidence.” – Oliver Burkeman, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
So maybe theodicy explains this tendency to believe this person in the White House is doing great things. Or maybe some people watch Fox News while I don’t. It tends to shape and validate beliefs for some true wing nuts, including that person in the White House. I do know I’ve come across some hardcore right wing zealots out there, and some equally hardcore left wing extremists. I have no use for either extreme, for there’s no progress to be made with either. Where are the voices in the middle, the advocates for diplomacy and fairness? Where’s the common sense approach to the environment and other critical issues of our time? There’s no room for reason in media, where ratings, subscribers and clicks per minute rule. Sadly, it’s not in the White House either.
The response from extremists to that last paragraph would be to condemn me for not having strong convictions. For lacking courage to fight for what is reprehensible on the other extreme. I call bullshit. It takes tremendous courage and conviction to meet people in the middle, to recognize you might not be right about something, and to compromise when it makes sense to do so. Where shall the world go next?