Image by Gerd Altmann

Or at least that’s what everyone on the internet wants you to believe.

Whether it’s the United States being destroyed…

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Those evil Righties seconds away from implosion…

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Those evil Lefties milliseconds from complete destruction…

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Or even those truly monstrous Centrists seconds away from imploding upon themselves…

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…It seems everyone on the internet thinks their enemies are one tiny scandal from exploding into a thousand tiny pieces, leaving the world an utopian, beautiful place. If you’re on the Left, you probably think that the Trumpster Right, the Alt-Right and the neo-Nazi Right are too busy infighting about the best way to bring literal fascism to the United States and the rest of the world. Conversely, if you’re on the Right, you’re likely thinking all those snowflake Tumblrinas, triggered “third wave” feminists and forgettable Sanders fans are too busy moaning about who’s the most Oppressed in the Olympics of Life and are seconds from ideological collapse. If you’re in the minority—a *gasp* Radical Centrist—you’re probably too busy trying to see literally fifty-fifty on each and every issue that you’re basically the political ideology I disagree with most.

But you’d be wrong.

Take a deep breath. Nobody is destroying themselves and, if you believe your political enemy is ready for kaput, then you’re likely stuck in an ideological echo chamber.

So why do we believe the catastrophizing? It’s really quite simple: Because it gives us hope. For those stuck in the vicious, bitter cycle that is the two-party system, seeing any vestige that our political enemy may be suffering brings us happiness. And why wouldn’t it? We’ve likely been supporting this one side for a relatively long period of time, with seemingly no end goal. We’re just slogging at it, reading hit pieces on everyone that’s not us, hanging out and reading positive pieces on those just like us—Why aren’t we winning?

That’s because we’re seeing things from only our perspective. That person who’s seeing the Left being utterly destroyed or the Right getting a taste of their own medicine is reading  or watching it from someone who agrees with them politically. Someone who, just like them, doesn’t understand one thing about their enemy.

Of course we can claim to understand them. A dye-in-the-wool CNN watcher might watch a couple of snippets of Fox News on Anderson Cooper’s latest show. A Left-wing fan of YouTuber Hbomberguy may find endless amusement in his takedown of Sargon of Akkad or PewDiePie. On the other side, a Right-wing fan of Bearing would rather watch his takedown of Steve Shives or Anita Sarkeesian than watch those people’s channels without the commentary. They would rather see Fox & Friends mock Rachel Maddow than actually tune into Rachel Maddow herself.

When you only watch and read those you politically agree with—I’m talking to you, creators and users of Twitter blockbots—and never see a single face of your enemies in a neutral context, then when you’re told your enemies are one half-scandal from death, you’re going to believe it. After all, Contra Points/Chris RayGun/Paul Joseph Watson said so!! All of my friends, who all lean the same way politically, agree with me!!?!

Everything and everyone you know aren’t destroying themselves.

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In an era where Donald Trump can have scandal after scandal and it doesn’t affect him one jot, your enemy is not going to destroy itself after some minor controversy. They’re just different factions of the Other Side having a little spat.

When TERFs, intersectional feminists and anarcho-communists are having seven-hundred thread Twitter rants against each other, they’re not “destroying themselves”: they’re simply different flavors of Liberal/Left-winger. Conversely, when the neoconservatives, Trump-fans and white nationalists are debating gun rights in America, they’re simply different branches of the same tree, who tend to overlap but for the most part, only support each other when their enemies lump them together. Even the centrists aren’t destroying themselves, because they’re not even a true political movement. They’re just a bunch of people who have both Left- and Right-wing beliefs, not a bunch of indecisive hicks.

The only way to destroy this divisive, destructive behavior is to eliminate the two-party system and replace it with a multitude of political parties of all political affiliations (including, yes, the radical ones), all with the potential to be elected. But why would we want that to happen when the juicy potential for our enemies to be COMPLETELY DESTROYED could happen any millisecond? Trump could be impeached by the time I get to the advertisement at the bottom of this article. Those special snowflakes could be banned from manipulating Our Children into baking cakes any second now…

Sigh. And so the clickbait headlines about MY POLITICAL ENEMY IS DESTROYING THEMSELVES continue…