Now, let's be clear about evil. True evil doesn't stand up and announce itself. True evil doesn't lay out its plans for all to see. While you're focused on the obvious things you simply disagree with, true evil is attacking from within like a virus.
True evil infects when you are most vulnerable, when you are confused and upset, when you undergo cognitive dissonance. When emotional and intellectual immune systems are compromised the virus takes hold in otherwise good people.
True evil changes people almost as rapidly and thoroughly as mythical zombie viruses. A person can be espousing the importance of love over hate one month, and then be spewing the most vile, despicable hatred a mere two months later. You've probably seen minor examples when a person suddenly exhibits "sour grapes" behavior by disliking something he or she previously loved. The process is real. With true evil, the change is much more dramatic and disturbing to watch.
True evil isn't sour grapes. True evil is to sour grapes as dementia and Alzheimers disease are to a headache. You see, the true evil virus attacks the mind faster than either. The true evil virus destroys a person's ability to think critically. It distorts truth until truth is unrecognizable. It destroys any sense of scale, reducing everything to false dichotomies. It razes reason and makes previously abhorred behavior feasible, even justifiable. Most terribly, it provides a dopamine rush of purpose and self-value which was lost while vulnerable. It's addictive. Like most addictive substances, it makes the victim unable to recognize the true evil when the victim looks in the mirror of their soul.
True evil attempts to deliberately pass itself from person to person. There are people who are master persuaders with no moral compass that are paid to do this. It seems to be everywhere in the United States right about now. At least it gets lots of press and TV coverage, two major disease vectors. There is probably much less than a 10% infection rate, but even a few percent is a lot.
Fortunately, the biggest safeguard against true evil is to recognize it. Self-awareness and a sense of personal values act as immunity to true evil. With self-awareness and an understanding of the evil, infection can easily be avoided. The disease vectors are easy to recognize. False dichotomies, faulty reasoning, distorted truth and discussion of abhorrent behavior are the obvious symptoms. These are easily avoided by a self-aware person. The evil cannot infect you unless you let it by compromising your mental immune system.
Can this disease be cured? Will it run its course and die off? Over the millennia, true evil has surfaced many times and the results weren't pretty. Wars, genocide, racial murders, persecution, religion-based killings; none are pleasant. They all result from infections run rampant. The evil eventually died off, but much damage was done. Lesser instances of evil died off fairly quickly. Let's hope there is a cure. Awareness, vigilance, an emphasis on truth and readily available information to counteract the illogic and false dichotomies helps. And it helps when the dopamine rush of purpose starts to fail. If there is no purpose, there is no evil.
Let's see to it that our friends who have succumbed to this are inoculated with the first dose of awareness. If you know anyone who has gone from love to hatred and from reason to fantasy, share this with them. We can conquer this.