I am tired of political rancor and messages that have a near hysterical urgency that is frequently unwarranted by the facts. It really gets intense in a national election year and things are said and done that are often regrettable. Political passion is seldom rational. Of course there are things that political opposites say and do that are infuriating, (although it is mostly more say than do) but before responding to something with a tirade, especially online, it makes sense to stop and take a breather because whatever you post or send can stick around forever. Just as it is wise not to sign important documents when you are half-asleep or otherwise indisposed, so it is unwise to express yourself on anything important while you are angry. I’ve been there myself and know the routine, but one tends to mellow with age and hopefully grow wiser.
In politics each side tends to demonize the other assuming they are more formidable than they actually are. Fear of what the Other might do is a big motivator in political life, but that fear often exaggerates the power the other side actually has or can wield. That said I am not suggesting that both sides are equivalent. They are not, and I agree with Bill O’Reilly that the far Left is especially venomous. These are people of the sort who have published the home addresses of individuals they disagree with or have even threateningly visited them. This is the sort that disrupts speeches and attacks people they don’t agree with. I find this particularly unwise because the right, if it chose to be, would be far more formidable in any sort of physical conflict or show of force, but fortunately for these radicals, conservatives are more peaceful, in part because they have greater respect for social constraints, standards of behavior and manners. They also have no equivalent to the evil currency speculator George Soros, who is giving some $100 million to left-wing groups, to among other things, dig up, fabricate, and throw dirt on political opponents. Even the Democratic party has adapted an awful fabrication in actually training people to attack virtually any political position the other side takes as “racist” to try and obscure the substance of things. These tactics are actually based on fear, insecurity, and a feeling of powerlessness, as well as irrationality, but that does not make them any less despicable.
Nothing infuriates me more than the abuse of power by those who have it over those who don’t. Liberals like to think of themselves as great opponents of such activity, but they are often the ones doing the abusing. Take the odious editor of Vogue pressuring people to design for the Democratic Presidential campaign. What designer will say no? Newhouse should be held accountable for this. It is the same in show business. Most actors or performers are too self-involved to be particularly political, yet you see many of them line up in support of candidates or fundraisers. There is no doubt that if they are at all political they tend to be on the left, but their participation is often due to pressure from studio executives and agents who hold great power over them and are monotonously liberal, as well as peer pressure. After all what sense does it make to alienate at least half of your audience unnecessarily?
Over the course of my life whenever I held any kind of power I’m happy to say that I never used it to compel anyone to do anything they didn’t want to do. Instead I usually found myself banging up against the powerful. I paid a steep price throughout my life for political views I never hid, starting in graduate school, where I endured considerable mental anguish and was completely alone, as symbolized one time when I was sitting in the cafeteria when someone announced that busses were coming to take people to a demonstration. The place completely cleared out and I was literally alone. In those days there were no support structures around at all like the conservative think tanks, organizations, and media that exist today. Actually, if I think about it, it began in high school, where I was a favorite of an honors class history teacher until she found out I was supporting a Republican (Rockefeller at the time, not even a conservative). Ironically in a class exercise of a mock election campaign she prevailed upon me to advocate the candidacy of George Wallace just to cover all the candidates because no one wanted to do it, this being Brooklyn, NY. So when the time came I got up and spoke with a mock southern accent (which wasn’t hard for me having family from the South, i.e. my aunt owned the Robert E. Lee hotel in Jackson, Mississippi), had friends acting as cheerleaders and there was hysterical laughter in the class. When the time came to vote, the class actually elected Wallace based on my performance, not his politics. Well the teacher went ballistic and freaked out, outraged and furious that the majority of her honors class would actually vote the way they did, and refused to submit the election results to the larger school tally. Notwithstanding the fact that she prevailed on me to do something I really didn't want to do, she never spoke to me again after that and my grades subsequently took a dive, as a result of typical liberal tolerance. So it went on in life in since I was frequently in fields controlled by the left. Often when I inconveniently turned out to be more articulate than them while what they viewed as the "wrong" position," I was the subject of particular hatred.
So when it comes to power, although leftists like to portray themselves as struggling nobly against sinister forces for truth and justice, in my experience they are the ones who have consistently abused power for political purposes. In fact I have yet to come across a liberal with anything like a heroic streak no matter how they may romanticize themselves. When you look around at people who have actually performed heroic deeds, they are almost always conservative, if they are anything politically. The noticeable lack of liberals is not surprising; these are the people who invented the anti-hero, after all. Just think of who is more likely to perform selfless acts, or even give to charity. The evidence clearly shows it is conservatives.
There was a time when I was bitter about my encounters with the left, but it is long gone now, and as I’ve indicated, the wise course is to avoid getting obsessively angry about anything political. In the larger scheme of things they are a bitter minority motivated by fear of the Other that doesn’t actually exist. So rather than respond in-kind and attack them, at this point I’m decidedly more oriented towards persuading them as to the error of their ways.
For an earlier take on this topic go to: http://www.georgesarant.com/2010/09/political-passion.html