The story of our combative, snake-oiled times: There are antidotes, and there are antidotes.
Well, we also have vaccines to help us skirt -- or brace for -- the worst of what the world can chuck at us. There are all sorts of ways to avoid focus on one thing and pull attention onto another, as flashy magicians, petty pick-pockets, and pokerfaced charlatans all know.
But there are always ingenious methods to pull us back from permanently swallowing The Really Big Lies, too: truth serum, hypnotic therapy, anti-psychotic medications, cult deprogramming methodologies, and so on. Sometimes, even logic comes bubbling up to the surface in the drowning and airless front lines of public thought and reason, but not often.
Usually, we ask fire to fight fire, and ramp up to meet the lathering blather of the moment. But, really, we are free to choose our own weapons in any exchange of ideas, or in any attempt to highlight the utter nonsense of arguments presented to us as reasoned and reasonable notions.
- Yes: The arrow chosen from the quiver depends on the nature of the foe, as well as the nature of the archer. The nature of tool selection also depends upon the archer being somewhat conscious: Back-fires seldom start themselves in helpful spots, no more than games of pin-the-tail-on-the-non-denominational-animal help locate murderers.
- Circumstances hardly ever favor long-term extremes of any kind. (That all things in moderation quote you may have been fed along the path of life is not only a preface to healthy living precepts by our founders -- it's a principle of the universe, and is supported by that noticeable bulge in the bell curve of nearly any measure.)