After the untimely demise of PHS the other night, I realized that a good portion of the two years I wrote there, I was a statist. I certainly didn’t think of myself as one; I thought I was all about freedom and Taking The Country Back(tm). I knew we needed to Restore The Constitution and Stand For Liberty.
After the initial freakout session and repeated mashing of the Refresh button, only to be greeted by “This server cannot be found,” I sat back and thought about it all. Truth be told, except for the last year or so, most of PHS was statist tripe, and the world is better served with it gone.
Over the last 12 years I’ve been writing, I’ve seen my thinking evolve as I came into contact with more information, more truth, more things that I realized I was wrong about. I read everything I could find—and still do. It seemed the more I read, the more I researched, the less I knew. I’ve found myself reaching out to many people I don’t agree with, and would prefer not to associate with, and asking them to teach me. Not because I’ve suddenly converted to their way of thinking, but because information is a good thing. Because I want to be certain that I have all the information before I stand up and yell that this set of beliefs is mine.
I look back at some of the things I’ve supported or been involved with over the years and I shake my head. I was always passionate about whatever I believed, but sometimes those beliefs were straight up wrong. The important thing, however, is to keep learning, keep reading, and keep thinking—even if it means I have to change more beliefs and hone more positions.
There are those who like to demonize those who came out of another belief system, who ‘converted,’ so to speak, after being active in another arena or supporting something else. They fancy, somehow, that because they have never changed their belief system, and they have always believed XYZ way, that they are somehow purer. They are the ‘true patriots,’ and those of us who came out of another place are trash.
Because lately it seems like it’s not really a Kit Perez article unless I say something controversial, I’ll say the following: If you, after many years, have not changed a single belief, have not evolved in your thinking at all, have not seen a single thing that caused you to stop and say, “Wow…maybe I’m wrong about that,” then you are intellectually lazy. No one who is truly growing and maturing keeps exactly the same beliefs across the board for their entire life without even a question.
Humans have biases and our analysis is prone to pitfalls. It’s who we are. Normalcy bias, confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, the list goes on and on. In short, we do not like information that challenges our belief system, and we don’t want to change. Therefore, a lot of people (maybe even most) choose to believe only facts that support their narrative, even if those facts are debunked or incorrect. They discard anything that disproves their belief because if they don’t, they need to actually reevaluate their belief system—and maybe change it. That means admitting that they may have been mistaken. It takes conscious effort and humility to train yourself to seek truth and be willing to accept it when it’s proven to you. I posit that a large number of folks in the so-called patriot movement look at things as though they’re looking at the edge of a penny, convinced it’s only a curved line. They’re not interested in seeing the actual coin…they just want to believe in the line.
For many, their beliefs about the kind of world that exists around them is something intrinsic to who they are. They find it difficult to fathom a world that is not as they believed. It’s why Hillary fans collectively ignore the staggering amount of evidence showing that she is a pedophile with occult ties. It’s why John McCain is still Arizona’s senator. It’s why third party candidates never win. It’s why so many ‘patriots’ never see the irony in thinking that if only THEY had control of everything, they’d be immune from the seductive call of absolute power’s corruption. It’s why we are always a little bit surprised when people we respected and thought were solid end up stabbing us in the back.
I believed a lot of things that have been proven wrong. I used to laugh at the idea that there was a shadow government, some globalist cabal that was involved in everything from drug trafficking to satanic ritual abuse of children. I used to see those wild accusations on various conspiracy sites and I would dismiss them with a laugh and a shake of the head. Since then I’ve seen the evidence. It is overwhelming. Staggering. Soul-searing. But I seek truth, in whatever form it comes, regardless of the cost. I can learn something from almost anyone—even if I don’t agree with their beliefs, I still learn: how to counter, how to debate them effectively, how to crosscheck the information I already have.
I don’t want to be someone who cannot change their belief if they’re proven wrong, and I’m self-aware enough that I know just how wrong I’ve been at various times in the last 12 years, not just in some of the things I believed in, but also many of the people. I’m sure I’ll be wrong again. But I don’t give two seconds of credibility to anyone who does not have the balls to look at opposing information and truly evaluate their beliefs according to fact, and not what their emotions need them to be. I don’t give two seconds of time to people who are not only mentally stagnant, but think that being so is a badge of honor. I don’t want to be right, I want to be correct.
Stagnation is not something to brag about. If you’ve been around in this freedom thing a long time, awesome. If absolutely nothing about your belief system has changed or clarified during that time, then you should really think about where your head’s at. You just might have more in common with the naked emperor than the well-read partisan.