Quite possibly the word ‘opinion’ unbalances truth on the scale of justice with more weight on the side of nonsense. Each member of this court bears opinion as if it’s the word of god. Each seems to believe what they’ve formulated as truth whether it’s actual, or factual truth, invoked during the personal decision making process should not be opened for debate. That, I believe is problematic in itself. Hence the abyss of social media.
Once a few lifetimes ago, the court of public opinion formed and happened when a group of locals gathered to discuss important topics that affected all in the community. They gathered in a tavern, pub, church, or even the corner store. Imagine face to face conversation and debate. All people within arms length. When concluded they honestly knew each other a bit better and had an consensus of majority that held.
Here in 21st century earth, gathering all those discussing the important and not ideas battered and tossed around the ocean of social media would cause more blood shed than consensual agreement. And majority? That might be more like tides of fluctuation. Majority one minute and not the next.
It seems even finding a concrete starting point of agreement from which ideas might be built for mutual satisfaction is unlikely. Which begs the question is mutual satisfaction a conclusion any of those involved in the discussion or argument searching to find? Perhaps not. And it not than the reason for the argument has little to do with the topic and a lot to do with individuality of opinion. How does one assemble a majority, and really what would the majority do with its gain?
Those on the sidelines have witnessed the activities of social media tear down good and bad men and women. They watched the most powerful among us use the currents roiling social media to twist and vilify truth and not pay the price earned by their words and actions. Yet in the court of public opinion success, it seems, is rated by the fallen only.
Those unable or unwilling to stand up and defend themselves against the onslaught. While the court of public opinion ignores either fearfully or believing some men and women are untouchable those that need to be seriously held accountable.
Let’s not ignore Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and their compatriots as they gleefully shred values of decency and the purpose of democracy itself so they may become richer and more powerful. It’s time we hold them accountable. But is that possible for the social media court of public opinion? Time runs quickly.