We all see things differently and it fascinates me. I look out the window and I see two squirrels playing in the uppermost branches of a tree. My husband looks out the same window and admires the expanse of green grass. He is looking down. I am looking up. Both of what we are looking at is part of a larger world. Neither of us is looking at something that isn’t there. We are just choosing to focus on different things.
Then I think about the QAnon people. These are people who see the United States government as an association of wicked devil worshippers who take delight in molesting children and killing babies. They see things that are not in plain sight. They tell nonbelievers they are privy to special information and we should be frightened. I’m frightened they think former President Trump is their savior. They were convinced he’d seize power, take over the government with his loyalists and become U.S. President for a second term.
We label them conspiracy theorists. We call them a bunch of loonies, but several have been elected to serve in the U.S. Congress.
I once remember being fascinated by a classmate in high school who almost convinced me that the 1969 Moon landing and Moon Walk was all filmed in a movie studio. “We never actually went to the moon,” he said, “It cost too much money. It was all a hoax.” He told me in great detail how everything was carried out and he seemed so sincere I almost believed him for at least an hour, until I thought of other stories like the one that people told about JFK not actually dying. “He was whisked away to a private hospital.” Or the people that said for years that Elvis Presley was still alive.
Alternate versions exist of every event, including the recent November presidential election. Currently polls show that 80 percent of registered Republican voters think that Trump won. They may not be pure QAnon followers, but they are adamant that the circumstances of our recent Presidential election were irregular, and that dead people and aliens were allowed to vote. They claim if properly vetted, the votes counted would show that Donald Trump was duly elected. Even though the votes in several states have been counted two and three times. Even though they have no hard evidence. What they have are some altered video tapes and mislabeled photographs posted on social media. Sixty courts have thrown out their cases.
If you repeat a lie over and over again, does it begin to sound true?
Once upon a time many people believed the earth was flat. They also believed that the earth was the center of the solar system. Some people still do believe the earth is flat. Based on what they see, feel and observe they are not convinced of the world’s spherical shape. There is actually a Flat Earth Society.
This could be why some people don’t believe there is a coronavirus. If they don’t get sick and they don’t know anyone who is sick with the coronavirus, they can choose to believe it is something scientists made up to scare us.
This all goes back to what do you want to see when you look out the window. I see neighbors walking their dogs and wearing masks to prevent transmission of a contagious virus. I see people waving hello to each other and I hear them talking about sports events and kids’ plans for school. We’re all trying to get along.
I think of ways to distinguish one day from the next, to make each action and moment count. It’s a challenge. All around me a global pandemic is raging and before it is over at least 500,000 people in the United States will die.
If I want to chase after something fantastic I can conjure up images of leprechauns hiding a pot of gold each time I spy a rainbow, and as Valentine’s Day approaches I can imagine Cupid filling his quiver with magic love arrows. Perhaps tiny people live in the corners of my house or our universe is just a piece of dust on someone else’s leaf. We’ll never know for certain whether some fantasies have a basis, but in my reality the United States conducted a fair election. The votes were certified and Joseph R. Biden Jr. is our president for the next four years. Welcome to the Democratic Country of America.
Slide over the arrow and you’ll see a different view….