Remember how much fun it was to harmlessly TP your friends’ houses? How silly and goofy it was to ding-dong ditch someone? Just to do silly, childish, ultimately harmless expressions of being a kid who’s fooling around? Or how about playing hide and seek? Remember how fun that was?
Thanks to the Republican fascists who have gerrymandered and suppressed their way into minority rule In 21st century America, any of those things will now likely get you killed by a paranoid gun nut who won’t suffer any consequences. And when it’s a white man who murders a BIPOC child, his state’s Republican governor will pardon any consequences that somehow slip past the barriers to justice they’ve built.
Pick a side. There is no middle.
You’re with the fascists and terrorists, or you are with the rest of us. There is no middle. There is no “both sides”. One side wants as much death and terror on the streets as possible. The other side wants all of us to have healthcare and a home.
Pick a side. There is no middle.
You are with us, or you are with the domestic terrorists. There is no middle.
And to be clear: if you are with the domestic terrorists, you’re not welcome on my page or in my life. It’s not dIfFeREnT OpInIoNs. It’s literally life and death. There is no middle.
Maybe, thirty, forty, fifty years ago, there was some redemptive quality in the GOP. (Like, at the very LEAST there were Republicans who wouldn’t support a coup, or flood our streets with weapons of mass murder, for instance). Maybe it’s real hard to consider voting against the party you’ve always supported. I get that. Thing is, that party doesn’t exist now. That party has been replaced with violent, christian nationalist, white supremacist, fascists. And they are ALL in thrall to Tr*mp and Marjoriefuckyfuckfuck.
You can try to tell yourself that you don’t vote for their policies, that your candidate isn’t extreme. But when you vote for ANY Republican, you’re voting for those policies, because Republicans do as they are told by their fascist supreme leader, Donald Tru&p. They fall in line with the extremists. So if you aren’t an extremist, what do you do? If you want the endless slaughter to end, what do you do?
You pick a side. You’re with America, or you’re with the MAGA movement.
There is no middle.
22 thoughts on “there is no middle”
Thank you for stating the truth – truth that so many are afraid to utter out loud (fear is a horrible beast). It is helpful to know that we are not alone in this frightening place we now inhabit.
This post saddens me. This reduces everything to black and white, no gray areas. The grownups at the table acknowledge the black and whites but seek compromise in the gray area. You’ve reduced the GOP to one big uncompromising black. And characterize all who lean that way as the evil in the room, when there really are those who want to talk compromise and are shouted out in the news by those loud mouth immatures. There are uncompromising individuals on the white side too, they are just as big a problem. Until we as a whole figure out how we’re manipulated by the loudest voices, this won’t change. Demonizing those you don’t agree with further widens that rift.
Note: I love reading your blog and have for years. Keep putting your feelings out there for us, we’re all better for it. Cheers 🙂
The GOP did that to themselves when they lined up behind Trump, and purged anyone who did not.
This might seem like a silly comparison to make, but I feel that it is relevant to the discussion. In the recent Star Wars series Andor, there is a character who works for the Empire – Dedra Meero. The series spends several episodes to show us how she is a real person, who is just trying to impress her boss. But then in the back episodes she reveals her true nature – she is most definitely a sadistic evil person. What the show is doing is showing that people can be both evil, and also real human beings.
Maybe some of the Republicans you’re talking about are real nice people outside of politics; but make no mistake that their values an intentions align with their parent party. I don’t think that Wil is necessarily demonizing the individuals, but their actions. There’s no middle ground to the actions. But I don’t want to put words into Wil’s mouth or try to insert nuance where there may not be. I can certainly see he is demonizing One Person in particular, and it’s well-deserved.
What gets me even more are the people who say “oh, I’m apolitical”. Like, you’re consciously choosing not to look at what’s going on around you? I get that some people really struggle with identity politics – okay, yes, turning away from that is hard, I can acknowledge that. But saying “enh, can’t be bothered”? Really?
Just think about how different it might’ve been if the Second Amendment said: “In order to maintain a secure and free State through the presence of a well-regulated Militia, the right of duly enrolled Militia members to keep and bear Arms for the purpose of collective defense shall not be infringed.”
Thanks, Mr. Madison, for being sloppy on that front.
Musketballs were 680 mph, three per minute. AR-15 bullets are around 2080 mph, 1000 per minute. I’m so very sure the Second Amendment had AR-15s in mind when they legislated the right to bear arms.
“The People’s unbounded Right to bear all Arms, regardless of origin or time, shall remain inviolate and free from constraint. Also, Brawndo has the electrolytes that plants crave.”
tl;dr – I’m sorry you’re hurting, but it’s leading you in a dangerous direction, turn back while you still can. The rest of this is going to be all over the place cause I’m not a writer and I haven’t figured out how to distill 56 years of learning into a few paragraphs. My primary point is: Don’t forget that the people you’re mad at are human. They’re scared just like you are. Be compassionate. If you want to change minds you have to start with compassion.
(Writing that I think I totally failed to make the point below but it’s done now and you already kept me up late. I’m sorry I’m not a better writer, but please try to find my point, even if I misplaced it bit.)
I’m sorry you’re hurting, but it’s leading you in the wrong direction. Someone else pointed out that you’re reducing everything to black and white and while the human mind really likes things to be simple and clear that’s not the world we live in.
But you know who else lived in that simple black and white world? The Nazis. Also the communists who engaged in a bit of mass murder every time they got control of a country. Also all of the Trumpies that you say you hate.
I totally get it. The fantasy that as emperor I could fix it all is a frequent one for me. Our problems don’t seem that complicated, basically everyone should leave everyone else the fuck alone. It’s easy. But I know that even though my goal would be find smarter people than me and put them in charge of things I’d probably just turn into another murdering asshat who screwed it all up.
Resist the urge to oversimplify. Read What’s Our Problem by Tim Urban. Read Everything is Fucked, it’s a book about hope. Start meditating and read some Buddhist stuff to get your head in the right place.
Get out of your bubble and STOP WATCHING THE NEWS and for the love god GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media and the news are both shit shows that make more money if they can create more outrage. They never mention that while one asshat went on a rampage there are roughly 300 million people in the US didn’t kill anyone, and most of them weren’t even tempted. They constantly pit the left and the right against each other but they never mention the Horseshoe of Moloch.
If you search for horseshoe of moloch you should find a blog post (not mine) from 2016. Essentially it says that we think about left-right thing wrong. In reality it’s more like a horseshoe (open end down) and the folks at the top are pretty open minded and they can talk things out and make things work. The further down either side you get the more closed minded and dogmatic you get until at the bottom it’s two groups of assholes who want to murder anyone who disagrees with them. It sounds like you’re drifting in that direction and that makes me really sad.
We can’t fix it. No one person can fix it, that’s a fantasy. And outrage and anger won’t fix it because the people you’re mad at are… What are they? They’re people. Human people who make mistakes, like the one you’re making. They believe the wrong story and it leads them to do horrible things. That binary thinking, that with us or against us thing, that leads to tremendous amounts of evil and it ignores reality.
I love you man. I used to be so jealous of you because you had a wife that embraced your geekery. I’m so sorry that your hurting, but don’t let it drive you to forget the humanity of others.
When Sandy Hook happened, and the right wing (republican, libertarian, sovcit) chose to bury their heads, or worse, throw their lot in with Alex Jones / Tucker / Faux News, it was done. This country, this experiment in republican democracy suffered what appears to have become a mortal psychic wound.
To Wil’s point, on one side we have citizens who wish to discuss common sense restrictions within the confines of the second amendment AS WRITTEN, and on the other we have obstructionist profiteer ghouls who want to extend the battle as long as possible to further their power structure. For me, and I think for Wil, there is no middle ground there.
You’re willing to come to the table to discuss, or you’re not. It’s that simple. And, as they have demonstrated for over 10 years, they are not.
That one thing, for myself and many, many others, completely obviates the entirety of your argument. These people are literally in favor of children being killed rather than change their behavior.
I read Wil’s post above, and I read your comment reply here, and I can assure you that it is not Wil Wheaton who is making a mistake or is going down the wrong path or has his head in the wrong place here. You can have all the compassion in the world for your fellow humans and feel sympathy for how “scared” they are, or read however many philosophy books you want, or completely stop watching the news and consuming social media, and all of that is indeed fine and good, but at the same time, none of that will help you even a little bit if you just so happen to accidentally turn into the wrong driveway or mistakenly ring the wrong doorbell and then some RWNJ with an itchy trigger finger summarily shoots you dead for it, because he felt “scared” by your mere presence in his relative vicinity. And the fact that 300 million other people in this country managed to refrain from shooting anyone is utterly irrelevant and, moreover, didn’t do a bit of good for either Kaylin Gillis or Ralph Yarl. When you hear stories like those of the senseless shootings of Kaylin Gillis and Ralph Yarl, if your first thoughts are not ones of outrage and anger, but instead “oh, those poor old men, how frightened they must have felt,” then I’m sorry, but you’re part of the problem.
When the agenda is evil by any rational standard, the situation actually does become, for practical purposes, black and white. Yes, even the Nazis were still human. Hitler reportedly loved dogs. This did not change the necessity of stopping them by whatever means were necessary, for the net good of humanity.
You can still be compassionate while acknowledging that a given group has gone so off the rails they can no longer be permitted to influence the direction of a society. For what it’s worth, I am Buddhist, and sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do is have the courage to try and stop deluded, misguided people who are inflicting harm on others, and consequently themselves.
Buddhism doesn’t conflate compassion with passivity. It teaches compassionate action that arises from clarity.
On another note I figured out the easy solve to your head cannon contradiction about Wesley not being allowed to interact but being at the First Contact event:
Wesley broke the rules. He was in training, kinda couldn’t resist being at a pivotal moment in human history. Toed the line, knew how to insinuate himself without anyone asking. Faking the duty roster was easy, it is just Federation tech, not Traveller.
When he gets back yeah he gets punished but they recognize his artful act of insiniating himself without leaving information behind or developing compromised feelings. So long as he doesn’t do it again he is forgiven – but there is some kind of general observation of him to make sure so now he can’t go back unless he’s fired.
This. So much this.
Absolutely agree with most of this… but ding dong ditch and TP’ing a house aren’t harmless fun. They aren’t crimes worthy of death, and the people who would shoot teenagers playing an obnoxious prank are evil. But we live in a world where we struggle to find time to do what we value, and having a lot of free time but spending it on stealing other people’s time is selfish and shitty. (Again, not worthy of death! Killing teens for doing this is evil! But teens shouldn’t be doing it even if there is no threat of wackos with guns.)
Teens should find better things to do with their time than causing inconveniences to strangers. There are fun pranks you can do nowadays that are pro-social. Stick four wooden stakes with a little orange paint on them on public land, like a median, run twine around the stakes to create a square, and plant a tree. By the time the public works department figures out that in fact no one authorized this, there will probably be a substantial tree. Or, bomb park lawns with dandelion seeds. Leave mysterious packages of pistachios in people’s mailboxes (in the packaging in case there’s a tree nut allergy). Or, stick an entire roll of toilet paper in someone’s mailbox, which is both annoying, and gives them free toilet paper. You wanna be up to no good, do something fun and annoying and weird that doesn’t actually cause people harm.
As far as the Republicans go, all of this is appalling and I’m just wondering how far it goes before concerned parents start buying those guns the Republicans are so fond of making sure they can get, and shooting the politicians who have made it so easy for their children to be murdered in public. I’m sort of surprised it hasn’t happened yet.
Back in the day we made a dummy by stuffing clothes & attaching shoes to make it look like a person. We then used a line to suspend it up in a tree over the street.
When a car came along we would let go of the line so it looked like a person falling in front of the car.
People would get pretty pissed off. I mean really mad. I guess that prank is out of bounds these days.
It was my idea but I never actually did the physical part. I would be riding up and down the street on my bike & enjoyed talking with the enraged drivers when they got out to try and catch the perp and kick some ass.
Those were some good times man.
You are right. There are no gray areas at all with this GOP. From abroad, I watched the interview to Trump on CNN and it was just crazy how he can still spread lies around. The world overall is becoming a terrible place. It’s time to choose side, indeed.
As a transgender woman, there is no middle ground. No “but some people are scared” you are literally demonizing minorities, approving of mass shootings and trying to burn anyone poor. There is no excuses, and no GOP members that are worth listening to.
If you haven’t figured out over the last ten years (especially the last 6) that the GOP is the party of white supremacy, fascism and Christian totalitarianism, your not going to learn from anyone trying to show you, you just like that system and going to stick with it, just like the majority of Germans stuck with the Nazi party even if they didn’t officially become nazis.
This neo-GOP will destroy the country.
“Us vs. Them” is encoded into the very tapestry of our being.
Social psychologists lob terms around such as “ingroup bias” and “outgroup bias.” That we tend to over-value and forgive the members on our side. And find reasons to dislike those on the opposite side. That when our favorite football team wins it’s because of skill, but when the other team wins, it’s because of luck.
Dawkins has written more about this in the past. How primitive nomadic tribes learned to protect their own resources while taking/conquering those from others.
So yeah. If it’s not “Vikings vs. Packers” or “Michigan vs.Ohio” then it’s Republican vs. Democrat. And those on both sides believe that they walk on the side of angels. Even terrorists.
Humans are a strange species.
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The problem with people on the left is that they think that they can have a rational conversation with people on the extreme right. People on the extreme right just want power and they don’t care about rules or the law or anything else including you.
I can have all the compassion in the world for someone who has become terrified and paranoid because of living in the Fox bubble, but if they are pointing a gun at me because they are afraid, then they are my problem, like it or not. It then becomes about survival not compassion.
If you’ve ever had a loaded weapon pointed at you, you get what I am talking about. If you haven’t, you are just discussing philosophy.
love u Wil and please never stop speaking your mind
This is emotional reasoning at best. It’s feeling, not thinking. Important not to confuse the two. Zealotry of any stripe is still zealotry. I remember when Jr. Bush said: you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists. This was quite rightly ridiculed at the time by the ‘left’ when it still existed. Now there are just two different flavors of authoritarians, using some version of ‘the ends justify the means’. It’s morally wrong, and tactically stupid: never hate your enemies, it clouds your judgement.
Hi Wil. I dont know if you will ever see this comment or not. But I was looking for a safe place to share this with you and I feel safe here.
I just want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your bad days with your good. Thank you for being a kind human. Thank you for using your voice to stand up against evil. Thank you for being you.
In the last year, no, probably two years I have felt lost and felt like I am alone. All the bad in the world right now feels unbearable sometimes even fictional and someone with severe depression and highly sensitive it feels multiplied by 1000. I mourn every pain, I grieve every lost, I cry often, and wonder when will this world get better. But then I find a glimpse of hope in all the bad by seeing a stranger help another when they are on hard times. I see videos of a 98 year old vet taken to Disneyland by a stranger just to get one last moment to feel like a little boy. I see large groups of people standing together as a community defending their rights to love who they want to love, to be who they are.
And lastly, I see your posts defending and protecting everyone! And I think to myself maybe this life thing isn’t so bad. Maybe I just need to re-adjust my focus. Insert more good in my life than bad. Choose to be happy. Choose to be positive. Choose to believe good change, good people are winning and more good will follow. But all this to say thank you for giving me hope and making me not believe the dark voices in my head and instead listening to the ones in my heart.