In Plain Sight

“Oh, I guess that it’s your right to reason
I’m still dealing with a force that’s so strong
The force is stringing us along.” — Daryl Hall

We naturally assume we would know when evil exists amongst us. We’ve spent an entire lifetime of watching crime drama and law procedurals on television. We watch as master criminals and intuitive investigators battle it out in 42 minutes (not counting the commercials). Sometimes one side wins and sometimes the other side wins.

We pride ourselves in figuring it out before the actors reciting a script. Occasionally even we are fooled and we chalk it up as another great show and another lesson learned. The clown is never the guilty party. The red herring is exactly that. It can’t be the red herring. That would be too easy.

Except someone has spent their entire life as the red herring. He struck again and told you just enough to land himself in hot water. He disqualified himself again. He openly admitted to crimes in his business and crimes against humanity. He couldn’t be guilty. We’re missing something. It can’t be that easy. It doesn’t follow the right story arc.

In many ways, Mitch McConnell represents the evil we readily relate to. He makes you work a little harder to know it. You have to go back into the recesses of your memory to prove it. In this case, McConnell used the reflexive “blame Biden” approach. It was his fault we left Afghanistan. Except it really wasn’t. We all know that, but at least we have to work a little harder to get there.

Unfortunately, not all of us know it. Some of us have the memory of a gold fish. We just keep swimming. There is always a subset that never will remember these things. Trump made the deal that Biden executed. He even openly bragged at the time that Biden wasn’t going to be able to get out of the deal. Just keep swimming I guess.

Maybe these things are just too easy to track. Maybe our minds are just too trained to follow the 42 minute story arc. Maybe we are just too used to working at finding evil that we just ignore it when it is standing in front of us. Maybe we are just trained not to trust the words of our leaders. So, the smartest move for the evil among us is to tell us he or she is evil. We would never believe it.

It is more likely that it is the story of the frog in a boiling pot. The idea is fairly simple. Throw a frog into a boiling pot and it immediately jumps out. Slowly turn up the heat and it will comfortably cook. While some debate the analogy, there is some thought that humans are no better than the common frog. It goes back to the theory of sunken costs. If I bail now then I somehow have to explain to everyone and myself that all of this other stuff was apparently okay but this was a bridge too far.

So, either I am somewhat deplorable or I’m all in. I have a pair of fours in my hand, but I’ve already thrown twenty bucks into the pot, so what the hell? When you are all in you never have to admit the obvious. You can claim it was all fake news anyway. So, when the evil that tempts all mankind announces himself again you just keep whistling by the graveyard.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for thefantatasyfix.com. You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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