There are many descriptions for politics, one of them being that it’s what people do, instead of smashing each other’s skulls open with a club.
For the record, I’m instinctively the club (wooden, heavy) kind. Partly because I hate and despise mean girls and their cliques. I think life would be much easier if people who have trouble with other people got in a fist fight.
I’m also aware that’s not the way to run a society, unless you have a codified way to go about fist fights, and their resolution, afterwards. Which societies used to, mind you. But that too is politics.
As much as some of our founding fathers imagined a revolution a year or so, there really is no way to make a society work with that, not in actual functioning.
People like to know the next day will be more or less like today (weirdly, no matter how bad today is, until it gets to the point of no return.) And that dictates all sorts of compromises and accomodations.
I suspect this is a way in which my brain is more hunter-gatherer than settled agricultural person. Besides the ADD, that is.
Which brings us to the fact that bizarrely I’m a politics addict, and follow it way more than is good for my brain and blood pressure.
This is precisely because I don’t fully understand it, and don’t trust those who engage in it. I’m not fond of politics (which is why we’re not at home to anyone insisting that I should run for office in any way shape or form.) I’m just …. um interested in it. Or at least accurately aware that it’s interested in me. I’ve been bitten by revolutions, uprisings and riots before, and now, like someone in an area with unstable weather, I refuse to look away.
I want to have warning to grab that club and or run away, you see?
But the one thing I’ve never done, until very recently, is let politics rule my life or my associations.
In college, where I kept my politics strictly under cover, my friends ranged from the preppy “right wingers” to the communists, and each group was absolutely sure I agreed with them. I was even part of the (in retrospect I think we impressed other people as mildly creepy, but I don’t care) hyper religious group who headed for the nearby church before attending classes. (Usually at 7 am, when the services were.)
Here’s the thing, I was friends with a small number of people in each of those groups, and they were generally people I could trust not to want to — much less do — bash my skull in.
I tried to maintain the same balance and stay in the closet politically, in my career. That didn’t work, because by then it had become absolutely necessary to vocally endorse everything of the left to stay in the good graces of the establishment. Oh, and those things changed. And we were supposed to change with them. We were also supposed to banish anyone who didn’t.
I don’t work that way, which is why I hate politics and politicians.
But because practically everyone on the left whom I’d considered friends banished me when I came out of the political closet (I was on the suspicious list, for insufficient enthusiasm before, mind.) I’ve been worrying lately that I let politics dictate my life.
I do, also, instinctively flinch away from people proclaiming certain politics, because I’ve found I can’t trust them. So I’ve been wondering if I actually have become a political fanatic and the mirror image of the left.
I’m glad to report I haven’t. And I thank the current international situation for doing the clarifying.
There are some of you who are friends as well as fans, and with whom I’ve found in the last week that I have a very significant political disagreement with.
You see, I have — malgre moi — become something of an isolationist. While I think that the US should have a strong defense, and a policy of “Don’t start none, won’t be none” Aka “Touch us and die” aka “So much blue glass.”, I don’t think we should be the world police. I think internationalism, in the form of very strange alliances has been the industrialized world’s bane.
That said, I do recognize the arguments of the other side, including “But they won’t leave us alone.” It’s the mirror image, in fact, of self defense vs. an active and intrusive police protection which can go sour on you.
While this disagreement with some of you is pretty significant, it is also completely irrelevant for the fact I still consider you friends and allies. It doesn’t affect my feelings for you.
While I have decided opinions on it (When don’t I have decided opinions) and am ready to talk your ear off in all conditions, I can see your side of it. I think you’re wrong, but only by a whisker.
The problem I have with the left, is that I can’t be friends with people who wish me dead, despoiled or permanently silenced.
Barring that, I’m open to discussion and argument. Mostly because politics is always interested in me.
But a large portion of the population has decided it’s my way or the highway, and we’re supposed to be obedient widgets, who own nothing and like it (That is to say, slaves. If you own nothing, you’re dependent on others for your very existence, and therefore can be absolutely controlled by government which even at its best is never made of angels.)
And that’s why we’re in mid-fall, waiting for the parachute to engage.
It very well might not. May G-d have mercy on our souls then.
All we can do is wait and see if it does, and then decide appropriately.
I feel a hard crash and the sort of scouring that will make me overnight a hard leftist, without ever changing my positions.
Brace. Times are about to get even more interesting.