Like roaches in the aftermath of nuclear holocaust, the ignorant crawl from the rubble of tragedy. It's as sure as death, taxes, and bad Bon Jovi commercials.
Since last Thursday, this country has been under siege across the media landscape, by pundits, experts, advocates, and misguided ne'er-do-wells contemptuously arguing two-sides of one issue.
A lunatic, single-minded of purpose, murders five police officers in Dallas, and before the bodies are laid to rest, the caterwauling starts. Noise from the right. Noise from the left. A racket steeped in rage, angst, emotion and often, ignorance.
It's so pervasive, many of us can nary muster the gumption to scroll through social media, or watch the news, because it's an endless sonic assault of shrill noise.
"I like the noise of democracy." - James Buchanan
Our 15th president may have liked the noise of democracy, but Twitter, Facebook, and cable news weren't around when he left office just before the Civil War. And, yes, that's a great tenet of our incredible democracy-- we get to express opinion, shout them from the rooftops if you will, even if you're an ignorant jackass.
We're often well-intentioned. But often woefully misguided. There's no value in shouting in a room full of the likeminded, unless it's in the ego stroke that comes from, "Can I get an Amen?!" There's equally no value in shouting in a room of the non-agreeable. Does anyone change their mind because a 140 character post was just so compelling?
The value of intelligent conversation is incalculable, but close-minded yelling steeped in fervor sometimes makes us feel like we're doing something, lulls us into a sense of virtue, but it really accomplishes nothing.
"There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism." - Alexander Hamilton
The shouting. The verbal bombast. What do they get us? What difference do they make?
It's all noise.
On Monday, Dallas Police Chief David Brown issued a challenge, "Become a part of the solution. Serve your communities. Don't be a part of the problem."
The yelling, the tweeting, the posting, the arguing, the insulting-- they don't solve any problem.
It's all noise.
And while the current executive branch of government is one of the biggest purveyors of noise, maybe, and ironically, they've got the best way to deal with it.
"Even in the toughest moments, when we're all sweating it, when we're worried that the bill won't pass, and it seems like all is lost, Barack never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise." - Michelle Obama
So stop the distraction. Step away from your computer, tablet, and smartphone. Step away from your television, Twitter, Facebook, MSNBC, CNN, FOX News-- it's all noise.