Scrap the conspiracy theories

Last week’s op/ed by Carole McWilliams (You’re in the dog house, Texas) was brilliant!

What if we, as Americans, used good ole common sense and accountability (instead of conspiracy theories, misinformation and overt racism) to hold each other accountable to science, equality, rational thought, truth, compromise, or even the Constitution?

No cherry-picking. No taking only the parts you want to believe in. We’re all in this together. Think of the planet as a whole. If we don’t do something significant (e.g. think reversing global warming) now, then we’re all going down together. Kind of like if enough of us decide not to believe in the social good, and decide our personal/political beliefs "Trump" others' safety, economic security and well-being, by believing COVID-19 isn’t real, or a hoax, or that the vaccine is somehow "political."

Well, then we’re dealing with a type of belief system that is akin to extremism. A group who will not compromise, will only believe in what they "think" is true, and cast aside science, rationality and the common good, and instead insist their beliefs are the only/true way.  When people believe in a leader who propagates a lie to protect their position and power, and those who choose to believe it will break the law and kill to force their views and beliefs, then we are in no better shape than those who are subjected to extremist views such as those in Afghanistan now. 

The religious right and white nationalists in this country might as well adopt a name that more befits their extreme views. Kamala Harris said it best in her 9/11 talk last week when she said that we need unity, not uniformity. And unity means not rioting when you don’t get your way, not subscribing to conspiracy theories, not refusing public health mandates, and not co-opting the flag in an attempt to legitimize your malfeasance. It does mean compromising, respecting science, acting on logic versus emotion, and seeing others as equals and not adversaries or inferiors. But hey, perhaps a bumper sticker I saw recently sums it all up best: “Be Kind. We’re all idiots.” I could live with that!

– Tim Thomas, Durango