I have been wearing my royal blue “Make America Think Again” hat around the county for the last year. In the run-up to the election, I was cautioned about potentially causing confrontations by wearing it, yet few materialized. After the election, while those cautions were still mentioned, a new phenomenon emerged.
Before the election I would get the occasional “Like the Hat” comment with most being supportive but a few ignoring the sentiment and instead rejecting it because of where the hat comes from. After the election, after the insurrection and especially after the various false narratives about the stolen election, the comments went from one every few weeks to three per day. They became 99 percent supportive of the statement even after they knew the source of the hat.
Therein lies my new hope. The vast majority of citizens in this country, silent or otherwise, want to believe in facts, real debate and real reverence for what this country tries to stand for. I am hopeful that they continue to seek facts and truth and do not hate, but try to understand and communicate with those that George Washington referred to as “pretend patriots.” Try to communicate civilly with those that adhere to clearly bogus conspiracy theories. My experiences teach me that despite common notions that disinformation is hard to parse — illogic, false equivalences and non-facts are actually fairly easy to figure out. The “like the hat” people are hopeful too.
Develop critical thinking skills. Let’s ALL help “Make America Think Again!!”