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So, I’ve been maintaining a political twitter account, @PoliticallyRepK, since, I believe, November.
I had, during the 2012 election season, created this account, and subsequently abandoned it.
However, given the current political climate in the
United States, I’ve breathed life back into it.
But…sometimes, Twitter isn’t the best place for my thoughts. Sometimes, my thoughts are very long-winded, thought out, etc. so on and so forth, and can’t be contained to just 140 characters.
So…here we are.
Welcome to Politically Rep K, the blog.
So, if you’ve been reading, you’ll have noticed this post about my political views, where I touched on my stances on political issues as a whole.
Politically, however, I’m much more moderate. Though still in the bottom left quadrant, I’d be much more near the middle, simply due to the fact that, in addition to the fact that I’m an idealist, I’m also a realist.
If I could craft the world, I’d make it fit my ideological views, because, ultimately, I have too much faith in the positive nature of humanity.
However, since I can’t, and since humanity isn’t as great as I’d like to believe, when it comes to voting, politics, what I’ll stand for in an intellectual perspective, I take a slower, more methodical, approach.
While I do agree that a more aggressive approach is best to get things done, I also understand that progress, of any kind, is made in steps. Going 0 to 60 in three seconds is great, but if you do that, you can’t see the car coming up right behind you fast enough to react properly.
If you try to make a big change before taking the proper steps to implement those changes, you could have harmful consequences that impact more than you thought.
Whereas if you go in steps, you can deal with those consequences as they arise, making the proper changes needed to combat them while still working towards your overarching goal.
One of the problems, if it’s not the foremost problem, in the United State’s current political climate is that people lack either the intellect, the capacity, the will, or some combination of the three, to discern hopeful ideology and what the harsh reality of the world and just how much power we have over it actually is.
As I’ve stated before, people dislike hearing bad news. They go to such high lengths to avoid it that things that sound nice, no matter how false, are more believed, simply because they don’t want to face the fact that reality kind of sucks.
Those who are more intellectually inclined, realists, or even just cynics, know the world isn’t as good as we’d like to believe. Those who deal with depression, abuse, discrimination, and many more issues, have been through a great deal and have had to work through it, all while dealing with everything else in the world.
They, and I include myself when I say ‘they’, understand that the world isn’t fair; that things don’t always go your way; that everything isn’t always good. Life has made them realists.
Some people, like myself, manage to still be hopeful, to believe in the good.
It’s difficult being an optimist and a pessimist; a realist and an idealist. To be quite honest, it’s infuriatingly irritating and stressful.
On one side of the argument, I know exactly how things are in the world and can plan accordingly to deal with the consequences of it.
On the other side, I hold a fancifully positive outlook on life and the world, to the point that, though I know that things may not go the way I want them to, I’m still achingly disappointed when they turn out that way.
This shows up in my posts often. I, somehow, manage to keep hope that maybe, just maybe, someday in the future people will be as good as they can be. That the Rebellion, the Resistance, whatever you want to call it, will succeed.
To get back to the point, it’s possible to be both an idealist and a realist. It’s not easy, but then, nothing worth anything ever really is.
If you can recognize that the way you view the world isn’t how everyone else does, you can realize that ideological views can’t always align with your political views.
As I’ve stated before, a vote isn’t just an opinion, it is an action. When you have idealistic views, that’s just an opinion, but when you transfer those same views over to your politics, meaning who you vote for, what you stand for, etc. so on and so forth, that’s an action, because it’s directly affecting other people’s lives.
Hillary Clinton caught a lot of flak when she mentioned ‘a public and a private position’.
“You just have to sort of figure out how to … balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today. Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”
While I can understand the sentiment behind the controversy, and even the issue behind the controversy, I don’t understand where why people objected so hard to the ‘public vs private’ part specifically.
Any intellectual knows that reality doesn’t always align with what you want it to be and that you have to compromise in order to get closer to your goals. That’s exactly what she was saying.
While I agree on principle that, no, we shouldn’t have to compromise to get important things done, I understand that it’s necessary in the world we live in.
Again, it’s about theory vs. practice.
We need to take a step back, take a breath, and look at things as objectively as we can, separating ourselves from the issue for a moment.
Rather than just applying it wholly without thinking of the consequences, we need to implement our theory in a practical way.
So often, I’ll see or hear the term “coastal elites”, referring to celebrities or other people who live in large coastal cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, etc.
The term is used as a way of saying that, because these people are largely, or wholly, unaffected by issues due to their success or wealth, their opinion or voice is invalid and unwanted.
The people who say this are the true elites, not the coast-dwellers.
Yes, the so-called “coastal elites” are largely unaffected by the policies they’re fighting against, but that doesn’t mean they’re not on your side. I would argue that would mean they’re more on your side because they don’t have to fight for these things.
Let’s take Susan Sarandon and her appearances on talk shows and news media outlets.
Every time she speaks, the blowback from people, democrats specifically, is astonishing.
She, on one occasion, said that people are now ‘energized’ by Trump’s electoral win. She also said that if Bernie didn’t win the primary, there should be a revolution, which I’m very split on.
On the one hand, Bernie was the most progressive candidate, the probable best way for us to move forward as a nation on our policies.
On the other hand, revolting before ensuring the election for the Democrats was/is stupid.
Going back to people being energized, I’m wholly in support of this statement and here’s why: it’s true.
She’s not saying that him being elected is a good thing, but she is saying that it has brought about a good thing. People on the left are now, to use her word, energized to fight.
People who didn’t feel the need to fight before are feeling it now.
However, getting back to the topic, people, let’s call them activist elitists, on the left are focusing on the “people who didn’t feel the need to fight before” and “they’re largely unaffected, so their voice doesn’t matter” parts, rather than focusing on the fact that they’re fighting now.
Look, I get it. I’m with you; they should have been fighting to begin with; but not everyone has the will or desire to constantly fight for everything, for more, against every injustice. And I don’t wish that on them, no matter how irritating it is that I can’t do that.
I have to stay informed and, to a degree, active in politics. My safety depends on it, like so many others’ does.
Since, for my own wellbeing, I have to stay informed and at least circulate information, why wouldn’t I keep up to date on other issues that don’t directly affect me and circulate that as well? It’s reading another article or three or watching a few more videos, and circulating is as easy as a tweet, which is what I do anyway.
This is where, I believe, activist elitists’ frustration comes from: it’s so easy to do, why wouldn’t you do it in the first place.
The answer is easy: celebrities and other “coastals” are affected, just not in the same way as we are; they’re affected by being ostracized in their job field and unable to get consistent work.
We like to believe that celebrities are all extremely rich, but that’s not always the case. Actors especially are affected by a very temperamental market.
If someone better, or someone who’s slightly more attractive and just as good, comes along, they’re out of a job. They’re not the hottest thing out there and, in the entertainment industry, everyone wants the next hottest thing.
Actors have to tread carefully. If they become activists with their platforms and that may, not even will, but may, cut into profits, they’re out of work unless they’re well-established. And if that’s the case, they don’t have to worry about not having work in a lot of cases.
Look at athlete activist Colin Kaepernick: he peacefully protested against racial injustice and inequality. He was respectful: he didn’t incite violence, destroy property, or disrespect anyone. But he can’t get a job in the field he’s worked towards his entire life now.
He used his platform and is now paying for it.
The problem isn’t the people in fear of their jobs; it’s the people making them lose their jobs due to controversy, one way or another.
The elitists aren’t those who are just becoming activists and aren’t affected by the issues directly; the elitists are the people who demand the past be changed or everything stay compartmentalized.
We need to stop the infighting; we need to unite.
The activist elites need to stop creating new problems and accept the help to fight on the actual problems.
There’s been this ‘controversy’ about something in the non-political sphere lately having to do with video games, specifically Playtonic Games’ Yooka-Laylee, releasing April 11th, 2017.
So, why am I talking about video games on a political blog? Because one of the voice actors, a YouTuber by the name of Jon Jafari, better known as JonTron, was taken out of the game following a debate in which he exhibited some racist views.
Following Playtonic’s decision to take him out of the game, they received backlash. A lot of backlash.
People denouncing the decision citing ‘free speech‘ as an opposition to taking a racist out of a game, even though it’s well within the company’s rights to do so, not to mention just being the right thing to do.
You set and make an example; that’s the only way we progress.
Moreover, promoting racism/homophobic/sexist/etc. views, is, in essence, exhibiting those same views yourself, just like voting.
Speaking out and making a stand against those views is not going against free speech.
One, they’re a private company, not the government.
Two, they’re based in the UK.
Three, and this one is important, discriminatory views are not valid opinions or viewpoints.
You, as a consumer, have every right to boycott the company for silencing a racist xenophobic person’s voice, but don’t pretend it’s because of some injustice against that person by the company.
It’s because, on some level, you agree with his views.
If your political ideology stems from a place that harms others, it’s not valid. It’s not right.
It is explicitly wrong.
When you dehumanize a group of people based on some arbitrary reason, you’ve lost the argument, no matter what you’re arguing. You’ve chosen to say that these humans are not human to you without any legitimate reason or based on any merit.
There will be some who argue that by me saying this, I’m inherently doing the same.
There’s a logical, intelligent, legitimate reason for my view: I’m not saying these people aren’t human or unimportant, nor am I dehumanizing them in some way; what I am doing is pointing out their fallacious, unintellectual, morally bankrupt views and presenting a reason why such views are invalid and wrong.
If you fail to see that, you’re missing the point I’m trying to make.
At the end of the day, we’re all humans. We all have lives, desires, hobbies, feelings, and everything else. We need to stop focusing on our differences, especially ones that have no bearing on our implicit humanity, and focus on our similarities.
This past weekend, United Airlines stopped two teenage girls and a child to change clothes because they were wearing leggings.
It’s reported that leggings “were not appropriate travel attire”, via The New York Times. The father of the young girl was also reportedly wearing above-the-knee shorts and was left alone.
United has defended this decision of policing female’s choice of dress by saying that it’s due to a policy for ‘pass travelers’, travelers that are using company benefits, either employees themselves or their families through standby tickets, tickets left over when a flight isn’t full.
United has said that pass travelers are ‘representing’ the company.
No. You do not get to dictate how anyone dresses in any situation as long as they’re not on the clock. Employee, dependant, or otherwise, this is unacceptable.
No, I’m not saying you can’t have a dress code for all your passengers or even a specified dress code for, specifically, on-the-clock flyers for your company. That’s perfectly fine.
But off-the-clock employees or their dependants? Unless they’re wearing a clear indicator that they’re an employee, which, by all means, have a policy that off-the-clock workers take such indicators off, they are not representatives.
They’re people who you have no control over.
If they’re wearing something offensive or hateful, well, that’s something to put in your overall dress code or employee policies on public expression ahead of time; but if it’s not those things, you can’t control what they wear in their own time.
(By ‘offensive’, I mean in poor taste; pasties and tassels, undergarments, swimsuits that aren’t ‘passable’ as ‘regular’ clothing, etc. Not leggings, which have become regular daily wear for women, and even men.)
Employees, once they are not on the clock or clearly indicating that they work for your company, are not representatives. They are not yours to dictate what they can and can’t dress like separate from other people.
Because, here’s something you probably don’t know, but those people that are pass travelers that aren’t employees or outwardly indicating representation of the company, no one else will know or even care what they’re dressed like.
When you’re at the airport, you’re there because you’re trying to get somewhere, not because you’re trying to socialize or ‘represent’ your company.
Unless parts of your body that, by public decency standards, are hanging out, you’re fine and no one cares except for those people who want to control every other person’s life and dress.
And you don’t kowtow to those people.
Going back to the little girl’s father who was wearing above-the-knee shorts, no one said anything to him. I’d argue that’s worse than leggings because he’s showing more skin and his underwear or even privates could be seen.
To make another point, I, prior to this point, anyway, fly United. And I’ve flown in above-the-knee shorts and pajama pants. Hell, I’ve worn slippers.
You could argue that I wasn’t a pass traveler, but, as I pointed out, that doesn’t matter in the slightest.
So what’s the real issue here?
Oh, wait! I know what it is!! He’s male and they’re female.
There’s the issue! It’s good old-fashioned sexism.
They’re wearing leggings and being sexualized because of it, even though they’re teenagers and a child.
This is at the heart of most, if not all, dress codes anywhere. Male and females have wildly different standards in regards to dress.
From school to business, females are overtly sexualized and controlled via their sartorial sense where men are not.
Females are given more restrictions, are held to them more strictly, and are punished more severely if they don’t adhere to these unfair limitations.
There’s no other word than sexism for this.
If females can’t wear leggings, neither can males. If females can’t wear shorts above the knee, neither can males. If females can’t show their chests, neither can males.
Let’s reverse this to make it more empowering.
If males can show their chests, so can women. If males can wear short shorts, so can women. If men can wear leggings, so can women.
While, yes, male and females wear different clothing, they should both be held to the same standards where applicable, which is everywhere because clothing is irrelevant.
Clothing isn’t gendered or has a personal preference as to who can and can’t wear it, aside from how it was made and for what body type it was made for. Wear what you please.
Equality doesn’t discriminate or place different standards on case-by-case bases. That’s why it’s equality.
I’m going to take you on a small little journey, simply to make my point that much easier.
So often in the US you’ll come across those that are called ‘the backbone’ of the US; these people are white people, heteronormative people, Christians, small business owners, or any other people ‘whose rights are slowly being taken away’.
These people are put up on a
rickety pedestal by Republicans…a pedestal that they slowly push down into a hole in the ground.
Now these people don’t care that they’re being pushed into a hole in the ground because, Hey! They’re on a pedestal! It doesn’t matter that the top of the pedestal is below the ground above the hole. They’re on a pedestal.
This is the attitude that conservative people hold. They don’t see the forest for the trees. (Or the ground for a pedestal, as the case is.) They believe that, because they aren’t touching the ground, it’s all good, even as the hole is slowly getting deeper.
(Keep this in mind; I’m going to be coming back to it in the future.)
Surrounding them is a sea of people on pedestals: large, secure, golden pedestals. But they’re reduced to a
rickety pedestal. In a hole. That’s getting deeper. And flooding. Because the 1% is not only slowly deepening the hole, no, no; they’re dumping polluted water in it.
(I’ll talk about DAPL this week. If I remember and don’t get distracted by something else. I may push it so I can do a really nice, in-depth post about DAPL, rather than what I usually do, which is condense it down to small talking points. I’ll do that too, but I want to show how important DAPL is by really digging deep and researching, posting facts, sourcing, etc.)
These people on these nice, golden pedestals are the 1%: career politicians, big businesses, millionaires, billionaires, etc.
Going back to the ‘backbone’… they still believe they’re the same as those other people on pedestals; they still equate themselves because they all have pedestals.
At the bottom of the hole are people who don’t even have a pedestal. They’re stuck there with no means to get out of the ever-deepening, flooding hole.
These people are the disenfranchised: the poor, the racial minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, the religious minorities, etc.
Ever stuck in a hole, the disenfranchised are desperately trying to get the person on the pedestal off of the pedestal, onto the ground above so that they can slowly climb up the pedestal and get onto the ground themselves.
The backbone, still in the hole, mind, is pushing and shoving the people down as they climb, not understanding that they’re just trying to get him back on the ground so they can get there too. But he doesn’t want them on his pedestal.
They’d rather sink on the pedestal than get onto the ground, onto safety, and allow them onto what he believes is his, even as they’re all slowly sinking.
Because, see, they’re on a pedestal. They believe they’re exactly the same as the 1%.
They dislike looking at context, at critically thinking, because that would put their own views into question, both of themselves and of everything else.
If they really think about where they are (on a pedestal in a sinking, toxic, flooding hole), and what’s really going on (the people below), they have to eschew their pedestal, their privilege. They have to get on the ground, off of that pedestal. They have to face the fact that their pedestal isn’t as good as the 1%’s pedestal.
The vast majority of the people on the
rickety pedestals are the ‘backbone’, rather than the backbone and the disenfranchised. (Who, I mean, I could easily argue that the disenfranchised are the actual backbone, but…later.)
They don’t take into account that their pedestal isn’t the same as the 1%’s, because they see themselves as prospective capable genius millionaires.
To anyone outside (Or with half a brain, really…), this is ridiculous. Of course everyone isn’t a prospective millionaire. (Let’s have some focus here.) Of course context matters and the type of pedestal matters. (Even though pedestals shouldn’t exist, but that’s another post entirely.)
Americans are taught all throughout their lives that they’re better; that they’re more capable, smarter, and richer.
But Americans are also taught that you can do anything; not a bad thing, in and of itself, but it’s paired with the idea of ‘The American Dream’: the core idea of which is that, if you work hard, you can achieve anything.
Which makes sense, though when taken in context, it’s not only flawed, but toxic. This is where the problem lies. It’s not obvious, and it may seem like it’s not even there with these two specific things paired, but let me explain, because it’s not just those two things.
While, yes, telling people (children especially) that they can do anything, that the world is their pickle* is a good thing, because it removes limitations, when it’s paired with the ‘labor = achievement’ aspect, the broader ‘American Dream’, and specifically, especially, the belief that they’re better, it creates a sort of ownership, a superiority, over the pedestal and over the disenfranchised, respectively.
Because they’re already told that they’re better, then they’re told that they can do anything, especially if they work for it (which gives them complete ownership over them,) then they’re given a pedestal because of their achievements, those individual aspects put together, that alone are fine, warp.
Except for the idea that they’re better; that’s trash. And also the root of the problem.
The idea that Americans and the USA are better than any other nation or its people is wrong. It’s wholly un-American.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Declaration of Independence
This is where the initial cognitive dissonance is in all of American politics.
Because, see, you’re taught about the ‘American Dream’ and America’s supposed superiority before you’re taught about the Declaration of Independence in most cases.
Even if the term ‘American Dream’ isn’t used, the idea of it is everywhere; it’s in our television shows, our movies, our books, our music.
You consume any media set or made in America:
- There’s a non-American; “I came to America to make my dreams come true/give my kids a better life/etc.”
- There’s an up-and-coming celebrity/musician/billionaire/businessman; “I worked for all that I’ve done and all of this is mine (and Jesus’), you can do it too!”
- There’s a person from a less-progressed nation/society; “Here, let me teach you the right way“/”I’m so glad I’m not from there.”/etc.
That’s typically American’s first introduction to what America is. Not through any harmful means, but just because that’s what our society is.
It’s not a real view of the world; it’s a view of the world through the lens of, again, a prospective capable genius millionaire.
By the time you do learn what the USA actually is, you’ve already been bombarded with all of the other views. You’re either conflicted, think nothing of it, or go with logic and reason and change views, getting rid of the toxicity.
You realize that, no, you’re probably not going to become a famous millionaire, but you can be happy; you can be a good person.
But that’s not what America is. America is full of prospective millionaires; of ‘backbone’ people who are on a pedestal (or disenfranchised and not on a pedestal) who see the other people on pedestals (the 1%) and equate their
rickety pedestal with the sturdy, golden pedestals.
People, please! You are not a prospective millionaire.
*If you recognize this, you’re awesome.
Often, those on the right use ‘identity politics’ as an insult or a disqualifier to policies or opinions.
In doing so, they’re effectively attempting to minimize, and even neutralize, humans and humanity itself. Let me explain.
To harken back to my post on saturday, What It’s Like To Be Gay In Trump’s America, I said this:
The moment I say this, every single word I say will be completely disregarded by a portion of people.
They will be completely blind to everything else I say because of who I am.
The message that I’m trying to get out, the facts, the points, everything will be completely thrown out because I’m simply “using identity politics” to make a point and not looking at things objectively, even when that’s the majority of what I do here. That’s what I’m setting out to do, anyway.
I would very much like to expand on that and how, not only is that a bad thing, but so-called “identity politics” is a good thing and wholly unavoidable.
So, in other words, we all have an identity, both as humans and as individuals.
However, that’s not what I’d like to focus on, though I will be referencing it.
No, what I’d like to focus on is how Republicans and conservatives also use identity politics.
They use identity politics as Republicans, Americans, conservatives, Christians (and its surrounding religions), monetary value, and, by their views, moral superiority.
While these things aren’t a problem in and of themselves, they like to use these identities to push those who don’t fit into these categories down.
Rather than trying to make other people equal or strive for things that are good for humanity as a whole, they use them to push those things down in order to push their agenda.
While, again, this isn’t an issue without context, when you look at what their agenda actually is and look at how they implement it, it becomes clear that they are not on the side of humanity, or even just good.
That’s because the Republican agenda is greed and money, and the conservative agenda is to get rid of those who aren’t exactly like them.
When you compare that to the Democrats, or really, more left, liberal, and progressives, when they use identity politics, it’s to promote equality and to dispel injustices.
Their goal is to pull everybody up to the same level as those at the top, which, ironically or not, those on the other side perceive this as an attack in an attempt to push them down and put them below.
This is a classic act of projection, which is defined as:
6b: the attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially: the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety
They know that’s what they do, so they assume that’s what everyone does.
As I’ve said before, Republicans/conservatives like everything to be simple, to be black and white. They dislike having to take context into account to form an accurate viewpoint or opinion because that requires more work than the inconsequential amount they use; it’s more difficult.
I’ve also spoke about how they object to being kind to one another; that they view it, that they view being human, as a weakness.
Because they believe these things and think this way, they automatically assume and project that onto others because they’re unable, or unwilling, to wonder or think about how everyone is different.
Those differences, be they in opinion, physical appearance or performance, emotional capability or conduct, etc. so on and so forth, are what forms our identities.
Every single person is an individual with their own identity, but those on the right don’t like that. They would prefer if everyone were the same.
But if that happened, humans would cease to be humans, both as a society and as a species.
Were we all the same, we would cease to do anything; our complex cognitive reactions and interactions would halt, our impact on the world would cease, and our species would not progress.
(I’m not going to go in-depth at this point, but I felt it was worth noting; I may come back to this at a later post.)
This is the danger of right-leaning, conservative thinking; their goal is not just to slow down progress, as others may tell you, but to conserve it completely: to halt it.
This is where the left-leaning, progressive thinkers come in. They attempt to assemble people to combat this, to keep us progressing, by using identity and identity politics.
The way for us, as humans, to survive, and, indeed, thrive, is by progressing further as, not just a species, but a society. (There are so many commas in this sentence, but I love it.)
To jump just a little further into the possible ramifications of halting progress and becoming, effectively, all the same, if that were to happen, not only would those immediate things take effect, but, over time, we, as a species, due to lack of progress, would evolve.
That’s how evolution works, broadly. X doesn’t change, impact, or thrive, and because nature is constantly changing, X doesn’t continue to survive. So X begins adapting, or, as we should put it, evolving, slowly becoming Y over time because of X’s inability to continue on as X.
(Y’know, I am going to come back to this topic in the future after I do some more research and gain some more knowledge.)
You can see this in the overwhelming spread of left-leaning young people as the right-leaning older people are having children, getting older, and dying.
People, as a whole, are realizing that other people matter, that other people’s lives matter, that the world does not revolve around them. And that reflects by people leaning more left.
This is a reflection on people placing importance on individuals and their identities.
Because, in the end, we’re all human and that’s what matters.
From this point forward, there will only be posts M-F, simply because the weekends are slow for news and I need to make an effort to bring my stress levels down.
Hope you understand.