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A More Perfect Union

by Dr. David, Editor / Publisher

Always looking for articles for my magazine or content to reproduce on my local social network, I keep an eye on what is being published here in San Miguel. Towards this end, I follow a former reporter for a small town newspaper, who regularly publishes richly-illustrated blog pieces. Unfortunately, he has carried his reporter's ethos of objectivity down to Mexico with him. After reading a half-dozen pieces, the only thing I know about him personally is that he has a dog. Keeping subjectivity out of news reporting is admirable, but when you are writing about the flowers of our rainy season, the reader expects a personal touch. Still, his photos are pretty.

Recently on his Facebook page, this ex-reporter published a long apology for suggesting that Senator Josh Harley, in a January 6th video, "ran like a girl." Apparently, he was roundly taken to task for trying to demean a man by suggesting he was feminine. Having watch Senator Hawley's respectable running style in the video in question, it's clear that he meant that the senator was cowardly, running away, afraid like a girl. This former reporter squirmed, first changing his phrase to "ran like a little girl," before conceding the unqualified insult of his usage towards women.

When I stick my foot in my mouth, I stop and think about it. I take it as a good opportunity to consider where else I may be going wrong. I wonder if my specific error might be indicative of a larger mistake on my part.

Perusing social media, I am amazed both at how vicious some of my neighbors are and how their horrible ugliness goes unchallenged by the community at large. They should be ashamed.

If you sat this ex-reporter down with Josh Harley, the odds are slim that he would tell the senator to his face that he acted like a girl or "ran like a spineless iguana" in fleeing those who invaded the Capitol that day, however much Josh Harley may himself have been responsible for egging them on.

When we are physically present with people, we are governed by deep-seated social mores. Online, free from such natural courtesies, even mild-mannered ex-reporters, give up the polite practices of decades and wildly strike out, maligning women, girls, iguanas and the U.S. Senate in the process.

If you isolate a rat in a cage and give it a choice between pure water and water laced with cocaine, it will continually choose the cocaine until it dies.

If you give the rat the same choice, but instead of isolating it, include in its cage everything a rat could want, friends, sexual partners, colored balls..., they hardly ever choose the drugged water, and never in a compulsive or addictive manner.

If you take away the things that make life worth living, then people start behaving like drug-addicted rats. Chief among these essentials is a sense of community. Climate change, equity, diversity, personal freedom... all rate lower than political union. If you are more worried about how America was 100 or 200 years ago than you are worried about the brave new world that China is preparing for us all, then you are looking in the wrong direction.

Politics is supposed to be a slow, laborious process, but the media makes its money convincing us that everything is an urgent, existential crisis. Still, demonizing your political opponents makes it a lot harder to share a country, to get things done, to make "a more perfect union," regardless of the outcome of the next election. As Lyndon Johnson, who accomplished a thing or two for civil rights, put it, "Don't spit in the soup. We all have to eat."

It's not everything, but community is the sine qua non. The rat immersed in a rich society of others is a happier rat. Lokkal builds community while strengthening the local economy. It's belonging and "Buy Local" rolled into one. It's a healthier, non-commercial internet experience. Local moderation makes us all more civil.

You can believe that the Democrats are the solution to the Republicans; or that the Republicans are the solution to the Democrats. I believe that party politics are inherently deceptive, that, "All politics are local." If you want to make the world a better place, start where you are; join Lokkal.

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Dr. David presents Lokkal, the social network, the prettiest, most-efficient way to see San Miguel online. Our Wall shows it all. Join and add your point of view.

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