If I could wave a magic wand and instantly affect any change I want, there’s a strong possibility it would be that Americans would focus on local news as much as they currently focus on national news, and vice versa. We are obsessed with news stories in faraway places that have literally zero impact on our lives, yet could not care less about stories from our own localities.
A man was killed by police in Minnesota, and it set off riots and demonstrations all around the country–and even some in Europe.
We can acknowledge that George Floyd’s death was an injustice and that police brutality in general is a Bad Thing without letting the story take over the world for a month.
It was, despite all the furor and hysteria over the past month, a local problem that affected a handful of people at most. It did not represent a reason for people 1,500 miles away to “rise up” and “demand justice.”
Go to the Washington Post database on police killings and see for yourself: it is not a “systemic issue” in this country.
49 unarmed, non-fleeing black people have been shot and killed by police in the US since 2015. That’s five-and-a-half years.
In just 2018 alone, there were 2,600 black-on-black homicides.
If you are concerned more about the 49 than the 2,600, that’s because someone else is in control of your brain.
It’s an unfortunate reality, for sure. I’m not going to completely dismiss police killings.
But there’s no reason for people in Portland, Oregon to riot and loot over an incident in Minneapolis.
The big trick the media pulls is its use of the term “systemic,” as if a white police officer killing a black perp in Minneapolis is representative of a larger, more pervasive problem nationwide. It can’t be that it was just one bad officer, or even an indictment of the Minneapolis PD as an institution.
At the absolute worst, it could be seen as an indictment of the City of Minneapolis. But even if that were the case, there’s still no reason for people in New York City to take to the streets.
No, instead, the George Floyd killing had to be taken as an indictment of America as a whole. Defund the police in Houston because of one bad cop in Minneapolis. Neighborhoods in Seattle need to burn because of an incident in Minneapolis. Tear down statues of the Founding Fathers.
We need to stop thinking national and start thinking local. This mindset we have that problems thousands of miles away somehow directly impact our own lives is the source of so much anxiety and fear. One of the worst things a person can do is worry and obsess over something they have no control over, and yet we have made doing just that basically the central ritual behavior in America today.
This precise manipulation–getting us to think nationally instead of locally–is how the media has divided and ultimately conquered this nation, ironically enough.
If we thought local instead of national, we’d be more engaged in our communities. Our local communities would be more friendly, more tightly-knit, more functional, higher-trust and less atomized. In other words, better in every way.
We’d know our neighbors more. We’d be actual members of a community, instead of atomized, pod-dwelling commuter cattle sedated by our televisions. If we interacted face-to-face with our neighbors more, we wouldn’t care that they vote differently from us. We’d value them as individuals instead of as vote tallies.
A strong nation is comprised of strong communities. It can’t be any other way. This country will never get back to its former glory until we realize that strong neighborhoods and local communities are the key.
Yet so much in our lives is nationally-focused now. Our news is nationally-focused. The grocery chains we shop at are national instead of locally-owned. The restaurants we go to are national chains.
We need more local. Local newspapers, local businesses. Yes, even local problems, local controversies and local disputes.
Nationally-focused news is how they spread fear porn.
When the riots were going on, people were terrified even if literally nothing in their own personal domains had changed.
People freaked out over Coronavirus even though the odds were overwhelming that it would never affect them in any way.
Unless the riots are in your town, you shouldn’t let them consume your life. Unless your friends, family and neighbors are coming down with the virus left and right, you shouldn’t be obsessing over the virus.
Over 95% of the country was completely unaffected by both the Coronavirus and the race riots–yet probably 95% of the country closely followed both stories day-in and day-out because of our focus on national, rather than local, news.
If we didn’t pay attention to national news, then the “race riots” would have been little more than people in big cities burning their own neighborhoods down. If we didn’t care about national news, then the Coronavirus would have been of little concern to anyone outside of the biggest cities in the country.
Think of how silly Celebrity Gossip stories would be if we viewed them for what they truly are: “Los Angeles Man Marries Bel Air Woman.” “Malibu Man Arrested For DUI.” “Beverly Hills Resident Checks Into Rehab.”
National news stories are mostly a waste of your time.
My initial instinct on seeing this story was to get mad:
But then I thought: this does not affect my life in any way whatsoever.
If some idiot in Seattle says something stupid, that does not matter to me. Not at all. That story is not worth one second of my time. That woman is on the Seattle City council. She has no power over me at all.
Even prior to 2020, the national news media would freak people out over things that could not possibly ever affect them in real life. Take ISIS. ISIS was in Syria and Iraq. ISIS was never going to get anywhere close to any American citizen. The only way they could was through “lone wolf” terror attacks which they claimed credit for, and those only happen because of the immigration policies our Elites have instituted.
An Islamic radical on the other side of the world should not matter to an American in Arizona. Unless the American is planning a vacation to Syria.
National and globally-focused media has had disastrous consequences for the whole world. Prior to the 20th century, what do you think the odds of America going to war with Vietnam were? Slim to none.
Go back to 1830 and tell an American that in the year 2003, we will be at war with Iraq and Afghanistan. They would be astounded at the idea. In 1830, most Americans, being simple farmers, probably had never even heard of Afghanistan.
Think of all the biggest wars in human history prior to the 20th century: almost all of them were between neighboring countries/empires/kingdoms.
- American Civil War (North vs. South)
- Napoleonic Wars (Europe)
- Thirty Years War (Germany/France/Austria/Eastern Europe)
- 100 Years War (England vs France)
- Peloponnesian War (Sparta vs Athens)
- Julis Caesar’s Gallic Wars (Rome vs Germanic tribes)
Certainly you have contradicting examples like the British Empire and the Imperial Europe’s colonization of Africa, plus the European colonization of the new world. I don’t want to discount those because those were major events/wars, but they were also mostly the result of discovery and exploration, not geopolitics. They were much different than, say, the Iraq War or the Vietnam War.
But that’s how war works today. America’s last five major wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Vietnam and Korea. And then the Cold War with Russia, another country that was located halfway around the world and which posed no inherent or immediate threat to American soil outside of one incident in 1962 (Cuban Missile Crisis).
If we thought locally rather than globally, we wouldn’t even really have a reason to be concerned about the rise of China. As I wrote in a previous post the other week, the Han Dynasty in China existed at the same time as the Roman Empire and there were no wars or conflicts between the two. It’s because they existed on opposite sides of the world. They rarely came into contact with one another.
The world is big enough for America and China to both be superpowers–so long as they just mind their own business. We are separated from China by a massive ocean. Sure, there will be economic disputes, but there is no need for a war between countries that are as far apart as America and China.
The problem is thinking globally: global trade, international relations, global dominance.
Most of the time, there is absolutely zero reason for any American to concern himself with global or even national news stories. Things that happen in other cities, states and countries will rarely, if ever, have any impact whatsoever on your life.
Stop worrying about things that are out of your control.
The wizards in control of the media have you under a spell if you’re doubly frustrated about both something that happened a thousand miles away from your home and your own inability to do anything about it.