One can't fix something that is broken by design. I occasionally watch a left leaning YouTube channel and I get the sense that the host is, at least, attempting to be intellectually consistent in his positions. I enjoy his videos of that reason. However, I also pity what I view as a sort of selective blindness that he seems to demonstrate. To be specific, he frequently speaks about the need to fix the Democratic party by cutting its corporate ties and pushing for truly "progressive" policies that would benefit the people instead of those with wealth and influence but he also continues to insist that his party is better than the opposition and that it can be righted if some action is taken. He has a right to his belief but I think he misses an important truth. One dose not stop a thing from carrying out its primary task by "fixing" it and it is pretty clear that increasing the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful is what both political parties in this country are designed to do. Unfortunately, a large segment of the population in the United States has the same selective blindness as the above mentioned YouTube personality. Many people fail to separate their own, often well meaning, ideals from the rhetoric and lies that are presented to them by their supposed political allies and this tendency can prevent them from seeing the flaws (or fatal defects) in the individuals and organizations who claim to represent them.
It feels good when someone agrees with us, seems to want to do the right thing (in our minds), or appears to care about us and they can win a great deal of "love," admiration, and respect by doing so but such powerful emotions can be blinding to those who experience them and that blindness can be exploited. One political party comes out and tells it's base what they want to hear and that it cares about the things that they care about. The other does the same. The masses feel vindicated and righteous. They mistakenly link their own ideals with the group that claims to represent them and they begin see only what they believe when they examine their allegedly like-minded "friends" and the actions that they take. An emotional connection between the self and the group is born and this shields the group from unwanted scrutiny by its members. Simply put, no one wants to question the group because that amounts to questioning one's deepest beliefs.
We see this selective political blindness at play in American politics and it enables a system of governance that serves only to exploit the population and siphon off wealth and power from the people. Republicans talk about, faith, freedom, and economic prosperity through low taxes. The democrats speak about uplifting the downtrodden, economic justice, and healthcare as a right. The average people on both sides feel like they are making the "moral" choice by picking their team because they believe in what their team claims to believe in but they rarely stop to question their team's actions. If they did, they would see that neither party does what it claims to do. Instead, they both continue to work toward two different variations of the same goal. They want our money and our power, to put it bluntly. The only difference is in to whom they funnel our wealth and agency. In my mind, choosing a political party is a choice is between which oppressor we get to bow to. They are all greedy oligarchs and malevolent tyrants in their deeds even if they are our allies in their names and rhetoric but, sadly, I see countless people advocating for leaders who will only disappoint, rob, and "disempower" them as reward for their effort.
Can't we just agree that both of these political parties are terrible and stop supporting anyone who associates with them? I might be being too dramatic in my language here when I write things like "tyrants" and "oppression" but the party system, by which we choose our leadership in this country, is fucked up beyond repair. A bunch of rich assholes tell us about all the wonderful, righteous things they want to do but when they come to power, they only seem to work toward becoming richer assholes while they screw the rest of us over and shit on all the things that they promised to do and claimed to care about. I (clearly) don't have all the answers but I feel like we need to start separating our emotional attachment to our beliefs from the people who claim to support them so that we may cast off our selective political blindness. Questioning someone who says that they agree with us does not require us to rethink our entire worldview. The sooner that we recognize that, the sooner that we can start calling bullshit on the groups who rule over the dumpster fire that is the modern American political landscape.
Sorry if this was super negative. It is political season in the U.S. and that kind of brings this out of me. Anyway, that's all I have for today. I should be back with another post on Friday or Saturday if all goes as planned.
All the images in this post are sourced from the free image website, unsplash.com.
The above mentioned YouTube channel is called Secular Talk for anyone who is interested.