We can feel your tension and the cortisol coursing through your body. There are millions of you, in your favorite chairs, remotes in hand, retired and slightly bored. This is the last act of your life, what’s with all the vitriol and heartburn? You “won” and you are still fired up?
Settle down and let’s work out your smile muscles a little more. As a future old white dude, I need to analyze where you fell off the rails, so I do not turn out like you. It cannot be fun marinating in all those conspiracy theories and hate. It’s not too late to course correct and come out of the darkness.
While we are getting a bit tired of your anger, fear, manufactured victimhood, revisionist history and intolerance we still love you. You are our Dads, Uncles, Grandpas, Brothers, Neighbors and Friends. Although I’d rather not sit next to you at Thanksgiving dinner in your current state, I don’t consider you to be the main problem, instead a symptom of a source problem I call Fearstream Media.
I’ve tuned into the Fox News and AM radio and I see where your fear comes from. That place is terrifying. Muslim terrorists on monkey bars, World Trade Center’s falling, Sharia law, snow storms proving global warming is a hoax, skyrocketing debt, rampant welfare abuse, Obama phones, mainstream media, socialized medicine, Benghazi, email servers, liberals, illegal immigrants, fraudulent voting, regulatory aggression on small business, black lives matter, Nancy Pelosi….
None of what you believe is true. At best Fox News uses outliers, hyperbole and ad hominem to keep you outraged, at their worst they use downright lies. You have been exploited and now your mental and physical health and quality of life are paying the tab. Your pusher over the last twenty years Roger Ailes was a long-standing Republican operative. You are now hooked on fear, addicted.
As a captive audience, like a boiled frog, you now have Stockholm Syndrome. To cure yourself you need to detox, put the junk down and see the world for what it is, an incredibly complex and diverse place where people are overwhelmingly compassionate, loving and searching for answers rooted in peace and justice. And for the record, while there are journalists who may identify as liberal, fact checked, annotated articles are not liberal.
Try turning that noise off for one week and see how you feel. I promise the outrage will be waiting for you upon return. What do you have to lose?
10 Antidotes for Conservative (and Liberal) Rage Disorder
1. Loosen and lower your belt. And laugh at yourself. I’m not even sure you need the belt with khakis that tight.
2. Leave your house. Fear is like a blanket and within the four walls of your home you feel comfort that nothing can get to you. This false positive deceives your brain into thinking this isolation is working to keep you safe.
3. Travel around your community and the world and talk to people who are not like you. Judgment is a cage for the heart and the only way to dissolve bias is to actually learn that you have more in common than differences. And the differences are fascinating and often worth celebrating.
4. Eat foods from around the world, Korean, Ethiopian, Moroccan, Argentinian, Indian… There are so many flavors to enjoy. Food is a great gateway to deeper understanding and celebration of cultures and diversity. And fruit variety is tasty example of the beauty of globalization.
5. Exercise. We want you to live a long time and share your new wisdom and love. Love for the world starts with love of our own bodies.
6. Enjoy the Arts. Read, listen to music, go to the theatre. Art is the jelly in the donut.
7. Enjoy your family. Even if they moved to another town, go visit. Don’t discuss politics and just enjoy your time together. Send them random notes telling them how proud you are and how much you appreciate their love.
8. Volunteer to help other in your community. You are robbing yourself of a great joy and new friendships. Helping others releases stress and spreads happiness. You will get more than you give.
9. Do something you love, like golf, woodworking, gardening or photography. Share that love with everyone.
10. Stay away from the manipulative news. They are trying to sell Lipitor, Safes, Life Insurance, Gold and Gold Bond not trying to improve your life with facts. Fear is their currency, lean towards the richness of love.
Your generation, the baby boomers had their chance. Now it is our turn. You got a sneak peak of the competency, integrity, class and love we will bring to the world with President Obama. Did you see your 401K perform well and home value increase over the last eight years? Our love, compassion, understanding and celebration of diversity is the future. Join our movement and abate the hate, because your movement is a dying one and one the future cannot afford to join.
The world is full of challenges, but the only thing we know for sure is that fear, hate, distrust, violence and division are recipes for more of the same. The younger generation wants to build bridges not walls, dialogues not war machines. Being alive is an amazing gift and we don’t want our one time to be dominated by these reruns of misunderstanding, exploitation, war, body bags, profiteering, repeat. We need you to chill out, change the channel, change your mind and the world and your perception to the world will change immediately.
So go to that new authentic Mexican restaurant and support the entrepreneurs breathing life back into an atrophying part of town. I guarantee it will be delicious and they will appreciate the support. You’ll find they are just as American as you, with dreams, challenges, fears and even crazy Uncles.
The World Community and Your Family
Photo Credit: Getty Images