For some reason, it is just difficult for Americans to take anything anymore at face value. Perhaps it has something to do with the society’s preoccupation with spinning, putting a public relations front on everything, regardless of what the truth may be. The truth, it seems, is no longer valued in American society. Rather than letting the facts determine the outcomes, we have become more determined to let predetermined outcomes be supported by selective facts that make our case.
It happens at every level of society. Gay republicans publicly decry the gay lifestyle while living it privately. Anything to sell themselves to voters who are looking for what they are offering. The candidate is not measured by how often he fits the bill. Instead, he is measured by how he pretends to fit the bill.
It is not indigenous only to Republicans. Democrats, for example, pushed public busing of students while sending their children to private schools. More recent examples likely exist if thought were applied to finding them, but that is not the point, only an illustration.
The point is that nothing is what it seems anymore, even when it is very simple. Instead, we build elaborate theories and construct involved explanations as we seek to fit the facts to what we WANT to believe in any particular case.
Such is going on right now with the case of Nidal Malik Hasan, who “snapped” last week and went on a shooting rampage as a result of his mental conflicts over the war in Iraq, to which he was soon to be deployed on the American side against Muslins he felt were his spiritual brethren. The simple fact seems rather obvious if one chooses to accept it. Hasan succumbed mentally to pressures and conflicts he felt were alive inside his head. The man snapped, drawing irrational solutions to what many may think were irrational conflicts. To him, however, they were real.
Americans, however, cannot accept the fact that he simply went nuts. Instead, we have spent day after day seeking to build some sort of bridge between Hasan and the Muslims we are fighting in Iraq, thinking there is more to the story than what it is: an irrational gunman seeing his solution in random shootings of what were, i reality, innocent victims. Perhaps in his reality they were still innocent victims and he did not care.
Instead of accepting Hasan for what he is, the American people and their government have been seeking to make him into the next Fidel Castro, leading a well-formed revolution from the mountains. Perhaps, in his mind, that is what Hasan hoped to be. The simple truth is that, in reality, he was just a lone gunman whom cracked under the pressure.
His actions were inexcusable, but so is the American obsession with building him it into more than he was. – George Curcio