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Letter: America has trouble focusing on key points

America has trouble focusing on key points

America suffers from collective Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. Skeptical?

Just watch cable news for a few hours and your head will spin: Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to win the presidency, Hillary Clinton’s campaign colluded with the Russians to obtain dirt on Trump, climate change is a hoax, global warming is melting the polar icecap, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is obsolete, NATO is no longer obsolete. No wonder we can’t stay on task for more than 60 seconds!

Our inability to focus prevents us from recognizing the long-term effects of our actions or inaction. It doesn’t occur to us that eliminating Environmental Protection Agency regulations leaves us with a continent polluted by toxins and bereft of wildlife, even if it does reduce the federal deficit in the short term.

A Muslim ban may prevent some radical Islamic terrorists from entering the United States, but closes the door to many talented, educated immigrants and fails to address the causes of Muslim American disaffection.

Relentless news coverage, fake Facebook posts, unfounded tweets leave us unsure of where the truth really lies. The constant barrage of information renders us too exhausted to research every tidbit of news we receive. And we just make our collective A.D.D. worse with our policies and our personal behavior. Reduced EPA funding gives rise to increased environmental pollution, exacerbating the symptoms.

To make matters worse, our distractibility makes us irritable, short-tempered. No longer do we listen, discuss, compromise. Instead, we fly off the handle, attack each other, dig in our heels.

Poor impulse control worsens as those around us lose control. We are awash in a sea of contradictory information, surrounded by angry people, immobilized by a lack of focus and we have no collective Ritalin to rescue us.

Suzanne Diffine


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