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Doomposters & Conservatives

To promote my alternative democracy, I have participated in about 10 internet forums over the years. I didn’t get much traction on any of them.

I have been on Medium since April 2019. Despite better writing and intellect on Medium and hoping these two features would lead to more activity for my alternative democracy, I haven’t made much progress here either.

However, I have been seeing the same flaw in our collective psyche on Medium as in those other places. I have tried pointing this flaw out to my few readers, but I just don’t have much influence.

Recently, three Medium articles, from writers more popular than I, fell into my feed at roughly the same time. These articles suggest some new thinking is emerging.

Benjamin Sledge . . . 

. . .  has, in my opinion, an edge in wordsmithing that should take him to a much better place than Medium. When this former, modern soldier tells his stories about his combat experience, he can put the reader right behind him — just like Hemingway. I hear Benjamin has a book coming out soon. He may soon find those places beyond Medium.

In “The Doom and Gloom Articles have to Stop (April 21),”  Benjamin puts us in a different combat role. We are fighting a battle of our political psyche. And he is frank: “But many writers and bloggers are now grabbing onto the model of ‘if it bleeds it leads’ and keeping men and women in cycles of fear and paranoia. My concern with this trend stems from the fact that by preying on people’s fears, you’re destroying their mental well being by doing nothing more than pandering.”

The dystopic writers have affected our mental health so much that citizens are just as paralyzed as some of Benjamin’s fellow soldiers in their first time in combat. We truly “do nothing,” politically speaking.

We can’t even investigate a new kind of democracy, let alone work for that new democracy. My alternative democracy is a three-hour read and offers a glimmer of hope. Yet Medium readers prefer the dystopic writers — day after day — that either offer no hope or have solutions so vague that we might as well have no hope. Why can’t the world investigate a new way? Why are people still using political tools that don’t seem to be working anymore? Why are so many people so settled with “there is nothing we can do”?

Benjamin pointed out our flawed psyche. He can reach more people than I can.

David B. Clear . . . 

. . .  uses sharp, edgy cartoons coupled with clear, simple writing style to make some great points. David is approaching a “top writer” status.

Within a week of Benjamin Sledge’s message, David had something similar to say. In his article “Wanna be a Top Writer? Here’s the Secret — Be Evil (April 25),” he uses the term “doomposter” to describe the dystopic writers on Medium. I don’t know if he invented this term or borrowed from somewhere else. But it sure is appropriate.

In this article, David spends a little time of the positive things that have come out of the current world crises. He summarizes: “Believe it or not, a better future is possible. But spreading the message that it’s not — that everything is hopeless — just leads more and more people to conclude ‘It’s all going to shit anyway, so who cares?’ But that’s the last thing we need. Again, a better future is possible! Pessimism is misplaced. All we have to do is be aware of what’s wrong, keep steering in the right direction, and not succumb to the doom.”

My alternative democracy can be part of “that better future.”

The third article of this series has a little different wind in the sails. I am still trying to grok its implications.

Benjamin Cain . . .   

. . . requires me to read his articles two or three times for reasonable comprehension. But he often has an interesting message.

In “Telling the Brutal Truth about Conservatism” (April 22), Benjamin talks about the state of conservatism in these modern times. This topic got my attention because the younger Dave thought himself as a conservative for many years. This philosophy was where I parked some of my identity.

And Benjamin is not kind to conservatives.

I have since moved from conservatism in my political leanings. Having been part of that pack, I always thought I could understand why conservatives are thinking the way they are thinking. I just considered them as part of a reasonable disagreement on how to run a society.

Even today, I still hold on to a few conservative values. And I liked John Kasich: he could explain conservatism in a way that makes sense. He would have made a much better Republican president than that other fellow the party chose.

But in the last decade, I am finding conservatives are less able to defend conservatism in a logical debate or discussion. Why is that?

Have I moved far enough away from conservatism that it no longer makes sense to me?

Or has conservatism somehow proffered less talented spokespeople who can talk wisely only to fellow conservatives?

As these questions have been racing in my head for several years, Benjamin Caine has a good plausible answer. I have already alluded that he is not kind, but I’ll let you read his article for yourself. For sure, there is some degree of truth to his message.

I am now wondering whether if my younger self was of the same deficient traits that Benjamin suggests conservatives have today.

Three Thoughtful Articles in Four Days

Sometimes I wonder why I am still spending time on Medium. So little traction from hundreds of hours of effort.

However, these three Medium articles have helped justify my presence. Two articles tell me that there is an acknowledgement of our collective democratic mental illness. A third is shifting my thinking. We all need to be open to a shift in thinking.

Published on Medium 2022

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