The Resistance is maturing. While that means we are becoming more adept at fighting the current regime’s punishing agenda, there is a danger attached to the passage of time, while we are under siege. It is, that we will stop being terribly outraged by every day’s “fresh hell” (Dorothy Parker). A “new normal” accretes almost imperceptibly. But why do “we,” the Resistance, adapt to “their” version of reality, and not vice-versa?
I submit that the answer lies in the vast personality chasm between us and the opposition. As for us, our open-minded tendency to try to “understand” the other side’s position, eases our brains into unwitting acceptance. We are thinkers, who look for instances of “cause and effect” to inform our notions of reality. We are kind, so we mentally try to bridge the gap between our knowledge of what is true fact, and the other side’s failure to care about that truth. We are intellectually honest, so we refuse to ignore the truths we know, by simply “making up” answers.
On the other hand, they are victims of “magical thinking.” They expend little mental effort to link “cause” with “effect,” through the disciplines that we call logic and science. Magical thinking can become a reflexive habit. Compounding this tendency, some branches of organized religion provide a socially acceptable safe harbor for resorting to magical thinking, even as an answer to secular problems. Atrocities may be justifiable as being “God’s will,” or “punishment from God.” Alternatively, this lazy mental habit is evidenced by the relatively secular excuse to “let it go,” because “everything happens for a reason.”
Reliance upon magical thinking as a default mode indicates intellectual dishonesty. There is no need to consider actual facts: it becomes acceptable to “shoot from the hip,” or just “wing it.” Furthermore, this dishonesty permits self-delusion. Social atrocities are rationalized as being “beyond individual control,” when, in truth, it is a deficit of kindness which allows blind acquiescence to bad outcomes (to other people).
So, we who are seeking a consistent, comprehensible sense of reality, slide inadvertently into a mindset of trying to mentally accommodate the demonstrably unkind “reasoning” displayed by magical thinkers. On the other hand, lacking any perception of a disconnect, our counterparts remain entrenched and static. As a result, we mentally squeeze our original perception of reality between our truth, and their fantasy. The degraded version becomes the less internally shocking, new normal.
How does this observation help refine the goals of the Resistance? It is an attempt to argue that we must reject most political interactions with the covertly-masked “deplorables.” Our duty, as a maturing movement, is to focus upon fighting those ideas and actions which we know constitute infringements upon our democratic norms. Yes, ignore them. Don’t spew hatred upon them, argue with them, or try to fix them. We can move forward more effectively and efficiently by operating inside our known reality. Resist!