People are senselessly being murdered in the United States. Children are being shot in schools and the tragedies have many Americans asking two basic questions: 1) Are we going to do something significant to curtail the gun violence? 2) Is there truly an issue to be discussed?

These questions are offsetting and have resulted in a public feud where politicians lick their chops, running to their pulpits to pluck the loyalties of those who respond to the sound of lazy mantras like Pavlov’s dogs. Lost in the chanting and politicking is the logic and desire among those who simply want to be human instead of a Democrat or Republican. Alongside that humanity is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which we’ve been told is supposed to be a staple of the American experience.

The absurd degree to which partisan power supersedes honest discourse in every significant social issue has become commonplace to the point it no longer seems absurd. Instead, we have been programmed to pick a side and sit on our couches, cheering our team to victory as if issues like abortion and gun control hold places of moral magnitude next to who will win the NBA Eastern Conference. It has been a sobering experience to witness the democracy I was introduced to as a youth, revealed as little more than the waxing and waning of opposing Neanderthal mindsets which are concerned, first and foremost, with their own survival. It is a place where truth is sacrificed for the sake of pride and self.

While this has become the acceptable method of government in America, I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief at the incessant inability for many of us to listen to honest words or take the time to speak them ourselves. The idiocracy comparison becomes more true and less comical every day.

Most recently this occurred during the “walkouts” in schools across the country where students took time to peacefully protest for gun control reform and safer schools. I watched comments roll in during live Facebook feeds that trivialized the voices and actions of these kids, encouraging punishment for missing class, asking for tax money back for teacher salaries during this “wasted” time, and calling their views pointless because they are too young to vote. At the end of the day, students’ attempts to communicate their beliefs were refused to be heard by so many people simply because they don’t share the same belief. This is the epitome of the gridlock that is American government — the war of communication.

One of the greatest failures in addressing any relevant social issue is communication. It is something we learn from the time we are babies and continue to struggle with throughout life. As a consequence, those in power use communication like a dog leash to force people against each other so we remain divided, seemingly unable to manage without the “leadership.” We have willingly adopted a system of representation that has slowly evolved away from the citizens and created a new ruling class that impishly harnesses the power of communication to keep us at each other’s throats. This is why teenagers, who have been told their lives matter and their voices should be heard, are chastised upon taking those statements seriously.

It is a brainwashing.

Why else do we respond to cries for help with heckling? Why does asking for safer schools or the exploration of improved gun laws trigger a response rooted in the idea that the Second Amendment is under attack? It’s because that’s what we’ve been programmed to do. It’s Pavlovian. If you assume a person who wants to address gun control enjoys killing babies in the womb because they’re obviously a “Libtard,” you’ve been hypnotized.

Your enemy is not your neighbor who seemingly disagrees with you on an issue. It’s not the high school student stepping out of class for 17 minutes. It’s not the one who wants to responsibly carry a gun. Your enemy is the one who encourages you to scream their mantra in lieu of being still and listening. It is the one brandishing heinous legislation that fuels your desire to hate those who don’t think like you. It’s the NRA tweeting, “I’ll control my guns, thank you,” with an image of an assault rifle with an American flag on it while kids plead for help.

We must unplug ourselves from the idea that mindless obedience and repetition is patriotic. We are the people and we should not be divided among party lines. Voices of reason and logic are stifled by the modern plague of false patriotism implanted in our minds to respond to stimuli based on the Democrat or Republican power source to which we sell our souls. That’s mind control. It’s false. As Keyser Soze says in The Usual Suspects, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he does not exist.”

Know your enemy.

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