It’s been three months short of two years since I’ve begun my journey of outspokenness and have been embraced by a community of free-thinkers, but slowly things began to change...
I’ve found, as the pendulum seems to be shifting slowly, that I have no stomach for hatred-- either for the left who lost their senses of humor, or for the right who lost their senses.
It’s an odd feeling, but the Trump era made me more empathetic, rather than less.
Hi Katherine, I'm new to your page but I'm right there with you. I want to be liked and I want to appear fair and even-handed, but I draw the line at capitulating to bad people who see politeness as a sign of weakness. I've written about this several times, but I might as well be whistling in the wind. They usually go nowhere.
I struggle with tone on my blog, since only part of if focuses on politics and advocacy and my readers come for the other posts more often. My more general posts get far more attention than those that are political, and it's so frustrating, because the political posts mean so much more to me.
I've been writing opinion pieces for about15 years but I tone it down here at Substack. Not because I want to but because all but a few regular readers seem to want me to. So then I struggle with the question: Am I writing these for them or for me? If I'm writing only for me how long can this last? If I'm writing for them, how long will I last?
We have to be true to ourselves as writers, and I think that would be easier here on Substack if we focus our newsletters to appeal to a specific audience. I didn't do that and now I'm catering to a variety of readers, many of whom either aren't interested or are turned off by my political views.
I need to do some rethinking, and your post here has given me food for thought.
You might feel a little bit less lonely if you were to realize that others are following in your footsteps, more or less ... 😉🙂
So I don’t spend as much time as some plumbing the depths of speech on social platforms…but today I discovered you and this article and you articulated for me something I didn’t fully appreciate about myself. While, like all humans, I have biases, I seek to understand whenever I can, not to make a point. Im just one person….not remotely an influential one…but what you have articulated here is truly how I wish to engage….and today I start again. Thank you
"I want to speak in a way that does not incite anger. I want to bring people together rather than divide them."
That's powerful to say the least. The expression harder said than done comes to mind and for good reason.
For me, there is a slight niggle of internal conflict; and almost I would go as far as self doubt as to the best course of action. It's easy to be highly controversial and garner visibility, engagement, and the consequences good and less good but this only is sensible if it's cohesive with the actual message. To articulate this rarely is. Snippets, soundbites, and headlines seldom do any topic at all the justice deserved.
From moderating large groups as well, I've found myself further backed into a corner that is a tough one to get out of. On one hand it's scream and shout but lose my identity, on the other hand it's continue to stick to my core message, my style, at the sacrifice of visibility.
Whilst this isn't quite what Kat is getting at as far as I understand it, it does resonate, and resonate hard.
I've read Kat's work for what feels like many years although it's perhaps only a year or so and can honestly say that it offers connection; something lacking in a world where we are utterly disconnected yet paradoxically hyperconnected.
Keep being you - thank you.
Katherine, I've been following you for some were around a year or two. My opinion of you has not changed. I value your opinion and open-mindedness, and want you to know that you are not alone.
Know that you are inspirational...
Thank you. Many of us feel this oppression coming to divide from within communities that previously felt like safe havens for free expression. I found you on twitter, and love reading your perspectives. I turned off TV in 2020 and now cannot stomach watching someone else’s agenda being fortified into my consciousness. On either “side” of the spectrum of ideas available. You are not alone.
Here, we’re all alone together.
Hey Katherine, nice essay. I haven't taken exactly your path (I'm still mostly anonymous) but your journey resonates with me. I agree that some people have been broken by all the crazy and it's led them to deride us fence sitters. People don't like sitting with complexity and they constantly have to frame things as a war between good and evil. Heck, maybe they're right, but I don't think so. I'm sticking with my nuanced complex POV. I'm not going to trade one black and white worldview for another. So what I'm saying is: You're not alone!
Look at all support you got here! That is exciting! 😊
You are always asking so many questions, so, just once, let me answer them for you.
What will the future holds? - you have to be more specific if you want to know the answer to this question.
… while nothing get solved? - something will be solved one way or another. Nothing is static.
… center continues to shrink? - center will continue to change, as always.
… loudest voices feel the void? - logically yes, but nothing to be worry about it - everyone is getting only what they are looking for.
… will more people wake up? - yes, but they will not come back here, so, mostly it will stay the same.
… a little less lonely together? - you are looking for something (I don’t want to be specific) in wrong places.
You are wonderful and talented. The process you described, when some people from your circle changed, is absolutely normal. Don’t get it personal, we all have struggles. Keep thinking, keep writing, keep asking, you will be ok. Actually, you are already ok. Don’t give up.
I'm taking breaks from Twitter. I've been off of Facebook for a long time. I don't think humans are built to be so connected. We've evolved from small tribes physically isolated from one another, and violence usually erupted when two tribes with radical differences encountered one another.
I don't want violence. As a vet, I've seen what modern weaponry can do to people. There is no Rambo's. Usually, the winners are the people that instigate the violence.
However, I'm finding it difficult to see a future path where a person like me can co-exist with people who are okay with taking their kids to drag queen shows or are okay with cutting up their children and giving them hormones in an effort to change sex.
I'm as close to a free-speech absolutist as you'll find. I want the government and big corporations to have little to no power to silence us. I also want political free speech. In other words, I don't want a person fired because they're a Democrat or a MAGA, or a Republican. No bank accounts should be frozen and no jobs should be lost because of political affiliation.
That said, if you're a public school teacher and you're teaching my elementary school kids about sex, that teacher should be fired. Also investigated.
Just like if you're a government representative or bureaucrat, and you set a Big Pharmaceutical industry to solve a medical problem and give them legal cover to screw it all up and hurt everybody - all involved should be investigated and prosecuted.
If you're a political party and you try to hide footage of an "insurrection" from the public all involved should be investigated and prosecuted.
If you're a Big Pharma company and you try to lock away (for years) all information about a drug you're administering to entire societies - you should be investigated and prosecuted.
So I guess I'm for free speech and mandatory full transparency. We have teachers trying to hide what they're teaching our kids. Governments trying to protect and hide what our medical communities have to say about incoming medical emergencies. Big Tech trying to hide working with our Fed Alphabet Agencies to censor political and medical dissent of an official narrative on social media.
Trust is gone, for citizens paying attention to what's going on.
So I understand where you're coming from. But I also understand why everyone is getting upset. When people get upset, things *do* get more black and white and more distinctly tribal. I don't mean that nuance is lost, but people - in an emotional state - start caring less and less about the nuance. For better or worse that seems to be human nature.
Are we headed towards our own version of a Mao revolution?
Thank you Katherine, I appreciate your thinking and your efforts and please don't give up!
Imagine your stance now, but having it pre-lockdown.
Those swept up the "culture war" are in the same civil war that the left and right wings of the political vulture have been feeding on as our pursuit of being virtuous came tumbling down right behind the Berlin wall. We won, capitalism won - and to the victors go the spoiled children.
The truths I see are dark enough that the comfortable are still blind to them - little things like "with chatGPT & robots, what *do* we need the breeders for?"
They programmed my generation with 1984 & GATTACA, and look at us now. What programming are the devices feeding the children - do the parents even have the capacity to investigate, or are they still pursuing their secret sacred selves online? Inter-Net, and we did - the fishing of mankind.
All connected though, you'll still find enough like minds no matter what your preferred reality assessment is - and maybe watching friends become casualties to the Culture War will make the dangers inherent in Astral Travel - oh sorry, telepresencing... I mean, "being online" more salient for those with a shred of wisdom.
You're not alone - never were. We're all in this timeline together, and thank you all for taking your share of the suffering - no matter how small the amount you choose to bear.
"In all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other"
I've decided to bow out of the social media space, at least for awhile. I have come to the conclusion that social media has become a net negative to society. I think the world would be better off if we shut the whole thing down. I find myself gravitating toward my worst impulses the longer I spend engaged in the culture wars. I feel I can do more good just trying to influence things more locally. Shouting matches online with reprehensible Fuentes fans accomplish nothing.
This really rings true. My Hope Is that we'll all burn out on the outrage and at that time the voices that have consistently stayed Above The Fray, currently to their detriment, will be known as reason voices seeking nuance and truth. I love your Twitter and miss you when you're not there. Keep your chin up you are one of the good ones.
I appreciate the courage you have shown.
Please try not to be too hard on the people who get emotional about these issues.
I am someone who gets extremely emotional about any issue involving sexual violence & sexual exploitation for deeply personal reasons.
When someone is calm & rational about these issues, it can feel as if they really don't care. And often, they don't care. Unless someone has been a victim of sex trafficking or child rape, they cannot know the full horror of that experience, so it's easy for them to be "nuanced" & hold themselves as morally & intellectual superior to those like myself who get a bit "hysterical".
I also notice that people who don't have children are much calmer about the indoctrination that is happening in many schools -the less skin one has in the game, the easier it is to appear reasonable & above the fray.
I am sorry that you are feeling lonely. I truly am.
But we need to love our fellow humans as they are, not as we wish them to be.
Human beings are first and foremost emotional creatures. We are FAR less rational than other mammals. That is both our blessing and our curse.
Those who rant & rave online are probably not bad people; they're just people with burnt skin, and someone touched them where they were burnt. It hurts!
Perhaps Free Thinkers need to have more empathy for Free Feelers and vice versa.
The "calm" people are not necessarily better than the "hysterical" people, just less hurt or less supported. Or both.
I hope you get back on Twitter. I enjoy the questions you ask so much.