“As a nation, we are split as with an ax – down the middle, each side withdrawing, further each day, into their cave of extremes.”

Mark Robinson is a fiery speaker. He is a man of strong beliefs who sees life in clear distinctions of law-abiding Right and “looney Left” choices. We see so much of that these days, don’t we? And yet, where is it getting us? 

As a nation, we are split as with an ax – down the middle, each side withdrawing, further each day, into their cave of extremes. Conspiracy theories boggle the mind as phantasmagoria of child-eaters and “Deep State” world domination trump the wildest Netflix series about the end of the world. The internet, which most of us know can be manipulated in the creation of whatever fiction we’d like as “fact” is treated as gospel by Mr. Robinson, as he owns here in relation to his belief that Jewish bankers are working with China, Islamic leaders and the CIA to control the world: “It’s amazing to me that we live in this age of information where you can go online and you can find all this information, and it’s not hidden from anybody.” (https://rb.gy/vgsj9) Does he really believe everything he reads? I see no proof of these wildly conjugated fictions worthy of Netflix. 

I worked on a civic project with a conspiracy theorist for several years. Through that experience I found that, though the theories were certainly sensational, in the end they would always fall apart for lack of proof, or even of reasonable common sense when one tried to follow the trail. My fellow worker was in many ways very intelligent, as, I’m sure Mr. Robinson is, but I guess proving one’s self right takes control over building what could be progress for community. Following Mr. Robinson’s line of logic may lead you to a murky place of illogic, and leave you wondering how one could possibly build consensus, or agreement, or even find common ground with such views of, and hateful feelings about, one’s community. Why would we want someone to further divide us here in NC?

The problem, as I see it, is not so much what Mr. Robinson buys into as his world view – a view so filled with hate, anger, and fear that he is unable to speak of his faith or his Creator as being able to love those he paints as “Other” – LGBTG+, Jews, “looney lefties” etc. – forgetting that he, himself, is still thought of by many as “Other.” That is his problem though, and he must wrestle with his humanness on his own, as we must wrestle with ours. 

No, the problem, as I see it, is WE who will be listening, reading, talking, considering our choice of Governor of NC. 

Are we considering our world view as we do so? Are we able to be swayed by anger, resentment, fear, or for so many of us, ignorance of these thorny social issues that are always the bait? Or are we willing to just hide our eyes and ears, tired of so much yelling, hoping to just pick someone nice, with a great smile, goes to my church, shook my hand at a rally, says he believes in Christ, the Bible, went to my school, is my race, religion, is nice looking…. 

WE are the ones who have to do our homework! WE are the electorate! We have to keep ourselves from being drug off to the doesn’t-make-a-lick-of-sense place where sabers are rattling and fists are thrashing. No matter how much we want things OUR way – whatever narrow way that is – we live in community with others, and those others are only sometimes like ourselves to the extent that we would like them to be. 

Mr. Robinson is exactly what he says and believes. What he “gets done” is to further divide our community by fostering cohesion through fear. 

Whitney Johnson Peckman