Do you really think that’s possible in today’s political climate? I think there are very few people who straddle American ideologies like I do: For Marijuana. Against abortion. For gay marriage (a position that evolved, in no small part to discussing the issue here.), Against corporate welfare. Fiscally conservative, except that a safety net of some size is beneficial. socially liberal, except that those things growing in pregnant women are actually children. Atheist. Canadian. And maybe that’s given me a different perspective than the average onlooker.
I can’t count the number of left leaning friends I’ve lost this last election cycle. I find that people who identify ideologically as progressives, especially but not uniquely, are by and large intolerant. And unforgiving. And prone to get angry when confused by facts. Freedom of speech, which used to be a cornerstone of liberalism, is now treated like physical violence. This is the first time I can think in history where the grassroots of any party are looking to retard the rights of everyday citizens…. But that’s exactly what’s happening.
Now how does any of this effect this blog specifically? Well, first off: Whether the blog is centrist or not, the blog is perhaps accidentally counter-culture. Whoever is in power is more able to give Jack ammunition. For the longest time it could appear that Jack was picking on the democrats, because they were supplying him with the most actionable material, they were in power, they did things that effected larger audiences. Sure, there might have been some selection bias, and sure, there might have been some lensing going on… But that just makes the switch that’s happened more profound. Over the last two years, there have been more republicans to talk about, because republicans had gained more power two years ago when the senate swapped. Even then: Hillary was front and centre, because she’s presumably the next president of the United States. Now we’re talking about Trump, oh yes, Hillary’s still there, on a back burner, oh yeah Paul Ryan’s still there, somewhere in a shadow, maybe playing poker with Sanders, Warren and Obama. But forget them, we’re talking about Trump, and why? Because he’s more important than we really want to give him credit for. And that’s perhaps frightening.
Second, as the blog moves centre, you might see some of the elements on the right peel off. They might come back after a cool off, and especially if Hillary wins, and starts pumping out actionable material like it’s the 80’s all over again. Ideally, what that would mean is that more centrist readers would jump on board. But this isn’t ideal. This is 2016, and left of centre, there are fewer and fewer moderates. I think the average moderate liberal is probably 40 years old or better, Wow. WOW. The point I was going to make is that the left is less forgiving, and suffers from a homogenization of conformity of though, and that in order to get liberal readers, you’d have to censor your comments and stop posting negatively about Hillary, except I was going to make it about three more paragraphs.
But then I wrote “I think the average moderate liberal is probably 40 years old or better” and whenever I write “liberal” or “left” I try to picture the mirror of it, what does the right look like, what are conservatives doing? I bet the average moderate conservative is over 40 too.
Oh sure, that might be the prime demographic for religious fundamentalism, but they aren’t quite as eager to agitate for change. The status quo worked for them, and they’re generally in a pretty good place.
You look at the Bernie and Trump voters: They’re young. They’re ignorant, they were unengaged, but they’re angry, and so they’re agitating.
Maybe we have to stop thinking of the paradigm as left vs. right. Maybe the paradigm is Authoritarian vs. Liberal. Or even young vs. old.
When it’s one person, he’s a jerk, when it’s two people, they’re coincidentally jerks together, but when it’s an entire fucking generation, maybe we need to look at how we got here.
Young people don’t have the opportunities their parents did. You basically need a BA to stack cans in a grocery store, and that’s about all a BA is good for. There are so many more ways for them to fail, and fewer ways for them to recover. Welfare is a trap. Education is hostile. Economics are not their friend. And yeah: They seem entitled. They like their gadgets and toys, they want the newest and greatest, while never really taking care of the things that matter. But they’ve been taught that, and they learned from the best.
Maybe it explains the safe space culture, and what’s happening on campuses….. The world is scary. The most frightening question to a lot of these kids will be something like “What are you going to be when you grow up?” And they realize that “Shitposter on Reddit” isn’t a viable career. And so there’s an attempt to mould the world around them into something more… comfortable. I’m thinking back to that screaming girl who yelled at the husband of a professor who said something disparaging about cultural-appropriation: “This isn’t a place of learning, this is our home!”
And so their vehicle to make the world… safer… for them is to agitate for laws that infringe the rights of others, to take money that is unearned, because they don’t see a vehicle to earn it… They become authoritarian.
I think I need to think about this for a while. This might be just as paradoxical as the black reparations that weren’t reparations scenario Jack made a couple months back.