Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 8:00am

Americans suck at dealing with reality.


Americans suck at dealing with reality. Unless we’re willing to do some hard work, and make some hard choices, the problems we’re facing right now are going to snowball until they’re insurmountable. It’s time to roll up your sleeves, people.

5 Things to Read Today (10/17/17)

  1. Rolling Stone: Why America Can’t Quit the Drug War
  2. The New Yorker: The Danger of President Pence
  3. Paging Dr. Nerdlove: How To Not Be The Office Creep
  4. Boston Globe: Trump, Sessions exaggerate gang threat to justify crackdown
  5. New York Magazine: Trump Keeps Getting Mad When He Finds Out What His Policies Actually Do

We have a problem in America where we refuse to change how we do things, even when we see our plan isn’t working. We have a serious problem with acknowledging reality.

The reality of the drug war is that it’s a miserable failure and our drug policies are destroying lives. We’re ruining people who could otherwise be helpful, productive members of society. Putting people in jail does not solve the drug problem. Treatment solves the drug problem. We know this. We have almost 50 years of failed policy proving it. We know treatment works better – we’ve seen success with that method. Sane people would see that and switch from one method to the other.

Mike Pence is a religious fundamentalist and a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries. We know that he stands for a multitude of failed social and fiscal policies. Yet people insist on seeing Pence as the better option. Pence isn’t the better option, he’s round two of the fight. The only thing he’s got going for him is that he’s marginally saner than Trump and that he probably won’t start a nuclear war over Twitter. I mean, that’s not nothing, but it’s also not better.

Every single day women all over America in numbers almost too great to comprehend are harassed, assaulted and ignored. We know this. It’s a fact. Major industries are packed full of serial sexual predators and everyday entitled douchebags. And yet we turn a blind eye to the problem because we just don’t want to deal with it. Men don’t want to confront other men. Women are afraid to speak up. No one wants to look at the reality of the situation head on and do something.

We have a lot of illegal immigrants living in America, and figuring out how to deal with that is a great big complicated problem. Most of the people here illegally are hardworking, decent people who just wanted a better life, or who ended up here through no fault of their own. Rounding them all up and sending them home will not work because it’s grossly expensive, wildly inhumane and logistically unfeasible. Some kind of amnesty program is clearly the cheaper, easier and more humane solution, as well as the most logical. Turn illegal immigrants into tax-paying Americans. Obviously. Everyone wins. Reform our immigration policies to make it easier for new immigrants to come here and become tax paying citizens. We can do that, and be safe. It’s not impossible. But we don’t do it.

We’re saddled with a president who is inventing his own warped reality as he goes. He thinks that because he says a thing, it’s true, even when it’s objectively not. Worse, he’s supported by a system who’s willing to play along because they get to make money while they do it. Worse even than that, he’s held up by a base population who believe his reality because we’ve let political propaganda run rampant and no one ever taught them how to think critically about the information they’re fed. Our failure in dealing with propaganda networks like Fox News and their ilk has resulted in a literal alternate reality where a sizable portion of the population live, work and vote, and we’re too busy clutching our pearls over the sanctity of free speech to stand up and say “Look, man, you can’t just lie to people without consequences.”

Look, sometimes you have a problem, so you try a solution. And sometimes, after giving that solution a fair shake, it doesn’t work. So you have to try something new. You can’t just keep trying the same solution over and over again and hoping it works. You can’t ignore the problem and hope it goes away. You can’t lie to yourself and everyone else about the problem and pretend it doesn’t exist.

If it’s a problem, you have to deal with it. Sometimes the problem is big and complicated and messy, and that means the solution is going to have to be big and complicated and hard to do and that sucks, but that’s what you have to do.

America can’t just keep ignoring reality. The fact that we are is a problem. And we’re going to have to suck it up, put on our big-girl panties, and deal with it.

But wait, where do I comment? No comments, sorry. Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter, instead.

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