“You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.” — Roger Waters
In all of the talk about deplorables, racists, xenophobes, and homophobes there appears to be something missing. A number of pundits and talking heads have talked about it though. There’s just a ton of hate out there. Sometimes it gets difficult to differentiate between bad people and people that are misled by bad people.
Alex Jones has been covered all over the interwebs. His attorneys forwarded all of his emails and text messages to opposing counsel. Whoops. As it turned out, there is now proof that he knew full well that Sandy Hook wasn’t a false flag. He’s already been caught in multiple lies during these proceedings alone. Now, the January 6th committee and his ex-wife are circling for the kill.
These are all facts and stuff you have heard elsewhere. Then, there’s the commentary that I’m sure you all have heard and seen. I’m not breaking any new ground here. In point of fact, I rarely ever do. They just don’t pay me enough to do that.
What I can do is ask two very important rhetorical questions. One of them is easy enough to answer academically, but it is a lot harder to grapple with on a philosophical/personal level. Simply put, how can someone like this prey on people like this for their own personal gain. It was said that he made as much as $800,000 a day when he was calling Sandy Hook a false flag. He rallied his “troops” so that they would harass the families. He did all this knowing full well that it was not a lie and that he was hurting people.
This is when “well actually guy/gal” comes rolling in with the DSM-V and pointing out the definitions for psychopathy and sociopathy. Yup, I took abnormal psychology and the graduate course version too. I know exactly what it is. The philosophical question is more about the inhumanity of it all. How could someone do this?
The second question is a lot more difficult. How do we tell the difference between someone that can be redeemed and someone who can’t? From there we have another series of questions. If someone is redeemable then what exactly does that road to redemption look like? If they can’t then what should happen to them?
Alex Jones is an easy and extreme case. Most examples are not. Let’s say someone participated in January 6th. I know someone who did. We may all know someone that fits that description. They were misled. They were willfully misled, but they were still misled. Are they redeemable?
Let’s say you have someone that has spouted off racist, homophobic, transphobic, or xenophobic comments. Some know exactly what they are doing (Tucker Carlson). Others may have deep seeded beliefs or been subject to a ton of propaganda and really believe what they are saying. Does that make it any better or worse?
At some point, we need to acknowledge that there has to be a road back. Certainly the people in question have to admit they are wrong and pledge to do better, but given that there has to be a road back. If there isn’t one then we are simply stuck where we are. There are others that have preyed on those folks who don’t deserve a road back. Alex Jones doesn’t get a road back. Tucker Carlson doesn’t get a road back. Donald Trump doesn’t get a road back.
Beyond that it gets difficult. Henchmen can sometimes get a road back. We see occasionally in the James Bond series. The henchmen realizes the archvillain is actually an asshole. It happens. They get a road back. Life isn’t a James Bond movie. The Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani’s of the world are tough to call. They know right from wrong and they do wrong. So, ultimately we have to choose and be as consistent as possible moving forward.