Friday, September 22, 2017

I'm Not Political, But...

The right is irrelevant, but the left is dead. Like a country rid of its fascist dictator there's only a power vacuum left to be filled with extremists. The right is toxic. The right is largely old and obsolete. And yet their opponents are politically charged, dying on hills to defend the right to give prepubescent children experimental hormone therapy, and ascribe their own gender or race. When you're fighting an opponent that idiotic all you do is let them protest and wave their arms and pickets until they tire themselves out, and push them over for collapse. The exhaustion of leftist hysteria has boiled over in such a relatively short span of time. They were given the reins to control the culture war and with all that extra slack hanged themselves.

Coming from a liberal lean, I don't understand what has become a complete role reversal of both parties, mixed in with some cognitive dissonance and perhaps ideological schizophrenia. Classical liberalism was always for free speech and laissez-faire attitudes and do what thou wilt and shock value and controversy and anything goes, so long as it was in their image of the Greater Good. Now the left doesn't like free speech or hate speech yet promotes political violence, against detestable, yet nonviolent protest. Perhaps they are punching out of love or indifference, hey a fist isn't really a speech or a statement, after all. Conservatives betrayed the implication of their name by being quite liberal when it came to moderating big corporate entities, banks, and stock markets. Older liberals have grown up to be quite judgemental and intolerant of behaviors beyond their status quo. Conservatives unconsciously have spread a clear message of simply... fuck it. Deny everything, vote in a demagogue, while promoting no actual solutions.

I'm not sure which party to like less. This is a race to the bottom of epic proportions. It's a sick version of American Idol based on populism: "Which political maneuver can outdo last week's attack on the Republic?" In an increasingly secular environment, as someone suggested: politics are the new religion. This is a stage of stunted development sprouted by the internet era. Now everyone has all the information. But as Lawrence Strauss points out, now everyone has all the misinformation as well. So the playing field isn't necessarily evened, it's just everything's getting a lot weirder and more incestuous. Your average politician is a misfiring robot full of hyperbole and contradictory values. It is exhausting.

What's going to replace the power vacuum left on the left? The lunatics of the libertarian party? A group of self-righteous, would-be tyrants that can't even lead their own party, let alone a state? They die on equally mediocre hills such as "taxation is theft." They combine the right's utilitarianism with the left's idealism and double down on it without any eye for practicality. I'm not political, but. I'm not political, but.

It's a popular opinion to espouse hatred of extremists. That's not the case. People love extremists, right or left. They just love extremists they agree with. There was Lincoln and Martin Luther King and others on the good side. Then you learn the history of politicians who owned slaves and the truth about Columbus. Then you learn Nelson Mandela signed off on bombing innocent civilians. Che Guevara is idolized by misguided youth he would have hated, when he's a poor man's Stalin or Mao or any other great dictator. If you're going to pick evil, at least pick the winners. These extremists are only loud minorities. By them we are being led. Pick a better extreme.

I'm not political, but. I'm not racist, but. I'm not transphobic, but. I'm not anti-islam, but. Forget the identity politics. This walking on eggshells verbal limbo is doing everyone a disservice. Forget wasteful distractions like gender fluidity. Let's have political fluidity. This cognitive dissonance implies we are, or should be, beyond generalizations. Both parties basically have wanted the same thing for 70 years and have bickered over how to go about it the best way. Everyone wants the governmental God-like father-figure f├╝hrer to take care of everything for them. It's a nice idea but it never works in reality. Liberals were known to hate government, but they want to expand it. The Grand Old Party would want bigger government tomorrow if liberals wanted smaller government today. There's so much overlap, rhetoric, and nonsense, when we generally agree on the end-goals. Still, all of government's input goes into mediating details and gerrymandering, and filibustering or otherwise stalling.

Any sane person rejects both political parties. You judge issues on an individual basis. If you are ignorant on an issue you reserve judgment. We're on the same team. Everyone wins. But that's never going to happen because we have this silly representative democracy presiding over 300 million people. Ideally they would focus on the big issues that effect everyone, like fairness in justice and law. Instead, its personal attacks and tweets at other politicians. The solution is simple: stop looking to others for solutions. Put less input and faith into politics. 500 or so elected officials are going to get it right for the 3rd biggest and most populated country? They never have, and never will.

You want “free” healthcare for all? Make a fucking Kickstarter. Hand out cash to any hospital that follows your guidebook of ethics and pricing and pre-existing conditions. From there, face the challenges and lawsuits you'll inevitably receive, and stay one pace in front of the backlash. Put your money where your mouth is. Don't wait for the government. Cut out the middle men who sit at the top from a place of perceived power. The masses hold the actual power, and this silent majority needs to speak up for themselves, not to quietly ask to be spoken for. And if your idea fails, it's on you, and you have no one to scapegoat.

Use that model for any government program. Make them request donations like PBS or Wikipedia and I'm sure you will see how quickly bad government programs dry up and good ideas prosper. There is no top-down solution that is sustainable long-term. Like biodiversity in farming methods, there needs to be a ground-up group effort of trials and failures. We expect government to be a god, perfect, when failures are so integral to success. Failure and success are part of a symbiotic process, and the greatest failure is failure to try. This advice is so good, I'm considering taking it myself.

Consolidation of power is never a good thing, it's a weakness. I believe the most base, predictable human emotions are fear and greed. Liberals lean towards helping others. Republicans towards self-preservation. They're both the same thing if you think unilaterally, helping others is self-preservation by proxy. The healthier the species, the better chance of your individual survival. We all want the same thing. The only question left is if we'll ever agree on it. But fear can make you feel your fellow man just wants a free ride. And greed provides the intoxicating illusion of power.

Instead, we've opted for intellectual posturing and personal attacks and revenge on our opponents. Petty behaviors. It's not enough to win an argument. And that's all that modern politics boil down to, the sensation of winning. It's not enough to be right. You have to put the knife in your opponent's side and give it a twist. The subtle and more satisfactory form of victory might be class and character. We need to get over the idea of vengeance and punishment as a solution, as opposed to something that causes more problems than it solves. It's not a deterrent, it's just an ode to the cathartic release of ego, that is admittedly a hard characteristic to shake.

And if you want to be a contentious son-of-a-bitch, that's fine, too. But own it. Don't use politics and your supposed virtues, when you care less about peace and coexistence than you do stroking your ego. Don't masquerade under the umbrella of unity when you really just want the coolest quip, the hippest hashtag, or to virtue-signal and increase social status among your peer group. Find some other outlet of grandeur and get out of the way of people trying to do good.

Morality defines us as human beings. Passion is alright, but hyper-polarization isn't helping. We're caught in a collective toxic continuum. I'm not sure I care. I'm not political. I'm only writing because the topic has become a bore, and the arguments are transparently misaligned and self-defeating. Picking sides doesn't work in a country that literally starts with United. A world forced and coerced into compliance, by authority, government, OR bullying professional victims won't work for long before it relapses. Tyranny in any form never works. A society bred on hate won't last, procreation requires touch. Anything awe-inspiring humans have created required finesse, it can all be destroyed relatively quickly. Think of the level of privilege required where this needs to be said.

We are being led by insecure extremists jockeying for position in the upper echelons who belong nowhere near it. Meanwhile the more level-headed middle who keep society balanced refuse to acknowledge their worth, as modern times promote flare and sensation, when they are lucky and unfortunate enough, to live in a place where basic decency won't turn any heads. We need the grass roots utilitarianism of the right as much as the creative artistic output of the left. The difference is negligible. It's the difference between saving a life versus giving someone a reason to live. If we're going to let some of the best Western progress reach the verge of collapse for no other reason than pride or indifference, we deserve the freedom to do so. But what a waste.

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