I know, I vowed no more political blogs but that was last year. This really isn’t about politics anyway. It’s about the manipulation of our society by the news media. I believe the divisiveness we see today is driven largely by this manipulation.

Remember the recent headlines about a high school student harassing a Native American Viet Nam war veteran. It depends on which news headline you saw, but several also managed to say the student was wearing a MAGA cap. I believe his choice of head gear was the real reason he was targeted but more about that later.

If you watch the video you see neither man do anything outside of our society’s currently accepted behavior. There were no punches thrown, no angry words exchanged. I saw several of the news agencies describe the young man’s facial expression as a sneer. That’s not the way I interpreted it but I’m guessing the reporters had to find something to say.

Widen our perspective out a bit and we find out the Native American protester was not a Viet Nam war veteran. I’m fairly sure the choice of military service was designed to make our high school student’s facial expressions even more dastardly.  The video I saw showed the protester beating his drum while he stepped into what I would consider the student’s personal space comfort zone.

This is a fairly standard power move. Not touching but expecting the student to become uncomfortable and move backwards. In this case, the student simply held his ground. Neither man offered violence or name calling. How about this for a headline, “High School Student Holds His Ground Against Trained Killer”? I never saw that headline but it contains as much truth as the other.

Why did the media decide that we would believe the unsubstantiated allegations? Why, because the student was wearing a MAGA cap. Have you seen any news stories where someone wearing a MAGA cap does something nice? Certainly not. Apparently even owning the cap causes you to become twisted and evil. Well, that or the news agencies are being very selective on how they report the news. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. That’s more than the news media will allow.

What was that? Okay, I apologize to those of you whose news station gives you a well-balanced view of all the issues. Just one question. Have you ever noticed a slight difference in the people they interview to present both sides of the issue? One side always seems well dressed and articulate. I’m guessing they represent the stations viewpoint. For some odd reason, the person representing the opposite view is almost always dressed like they’ve been on a four-night bender, missing several of their teeth and sporting a bright shiny tin foil hat. I sometimes wonder if there’s a central casting for these people because I never see them in public.

To be fair, my local station seems to have given up on interviews and gone to discussing selected Twitters. Talk about shooting fish in a barrel. Have you actually looked at any of the Twitter threads? How hard is to find a few that make Charles Manson seem like a model citizen? That’s not even sporting.

Back to the caps. Many of you are asking why would anyone in their right mind wear on of those MAGA caps. It might amaze you but your attitude provides a strong reason for many of them. I’m going to let you in on a secret from my distant past. When l let my hair grow past my shoulders, it wasn’t because I liked it that way. It was to annoy all the adults. And don’t even try to tell me you haven’t ever done something just to irritate people. Given some of the drivers my way to work, some of you haven’t grown out that phase. Needless to say, a MAGA cap provides almost instant gratification in irritating people.

Yes, I firmly believe that most of the people wearing those caps are doing so to irritate you. Why? Think about this. Trump isn’t up for reelection anytime soon. He doesn’t need their support. No, wearing that red cap is all about provoking a reaction from you.

From what I’ve seen, the majority of you are more than willing to provide that reaction. Wave that red cap in front of you and you can no more help yourself than a bull rushing a matador’s cape with full knowledge there’s a sword behind the cape. Does the term manipulated come to mind?

The funny thing is that you have the power to stop this almost immediately. When you see someone in a MAGA cap, you know they’re looking for attention. Offer to buy them a cup of coffee. Don’t discuss politics with them, that’s what they want. Instead, ask them about their family. Show them pictures of your grandkids. In other words, let them know that red cap holds no power over you.

If you’re a little old lady, you can give then the ultimate insult, tell them how cute the cap makes then look. Don’t believe me? Back in my days of long hair, if every little old lady I saw made it a point to tell me how beautiful and becoming my hair was, I’d have been visiting a barber that day. You know I’m right.

Since I’m already there, what’s wrong with “Make America Great Again”? Sorry, aside from the fact that Trump used it for his campaign. Do you have any doubts that we are no longer the world power we once were ? Take a look at our schools, our transportation infrastructure, our lack of innovation and certainly our politicians. To think I used to consider Dan Quayle incompetent.

We’re slipping and unless we start working together again, we will hit bottom. I want to see America great again.

Our local new station is fond of running polls. I think it’s to provide social interaction with their audience but aside from that, during the recent government budget crisis, they asked, “Which side do you believe should compromise?”

No, I didn’t ask you for an answer. Look at the question and think about the meaning of compromise. Compromise requires a meeting in the middle. It doesn’t mean one side capitulates. Maybe that’s the root of the problem, we no longer understand the meaning of compromise. We firmly believe the other side is so far from our position that any compromise is akin to dealing with pure evil. Stop letting the media form your opinion.

I’m not saying that pure evil isn’t out there and certainly there’s a huge amount of ignorance out there but forming our opinions solely on the basis of the news media, you may as well be wearing a coquelicot hat that says, “Media Zombie.” Stop judging, turn off the news and take the time to listen to your fellow human. They may not be quite as evil as the news would like you to believe.

© 2019, Byron Seastrunk. All rights reserved.