It’s conventional wisdom that the two most divisive topics that should not be mentioned, if you are wanting to avoid disagreement, are religion and politics.
But this blog isn’t a family dinner with your relatives, and I have no problem with starting discussion. And since I’ve already given my thoughts on religion, I figure that in the lead-up to the most publicized election in the world, why not share my thoughts on politics as well?
So let me start by telling you a story about something that has influenced my current opinion on politics, possibly more than anything else.
Grand Theft Auto.
It is the most amazing game franchise of the past 20 years. I know, that’s a bold statement, so allow me to qualify it.
Not only do you get to teleport to an alternate reality of firearms, high-speed police pursuits and other debaucherous thuggery, it traverses the traditional political boundaries of outrage.
Grand Theft Auto has really pissed everyone off.
Historically, the political right wanted the game to be banished to their utopian wasteland, whose occupants would also include Eminem, Marilyn Manson and just about anyone and anything that proverbially shat upon traditional Christian values and conservative opinion.
Sadly, since about the mid-2000’s, socially-transgressive music, movies and video games started to be eradicated. Let’s face it, Miley Cyrus is the closest thing to a provocateur of this generation.
But this decline of diversity in art wasn’t entirely due to the conservative dinosaurs getting their way. It was also, in part at least, because a new type of plague to humanity had been spawned – the social justice warrior.
Yes, it was these shrieking, left-leaning offend-amentalists, whose life purpose seems to consist of being outraged, searching for things to be outraged about, and being outraged that people aren’t outraged enough, that started to turn the screws on society’s perception of what is permissible and what is offensive.
Without going into too much of a digression, this new breed of righteous indignation drove the Gamergate controversy, which, in itself, showed the immense hypocrisy of the SJW faithful. The basic premise of the whole debacle was that, supposedly in the name of social justice, a bunch of cry-bullies picked a fight with the nerds, and then claimed victimhood when the nerds stood up for themselves.
So what does any of that have to do with my political persuasion?
It has everything to with it.
The problem is that most democratic countries will consist of 2, maybe 3, political parties that have any real chance of forming a government – usually representing both sides of the left-right political divide.
Without being too flippant, the right is out of touch and the left is out of grievances.
The conservatives seem dangerously close to just coming out and saying “let them eat cake”, while the liberals are grasping at any minor perceived injustice that they can to support their mentality that everyone is a victim.
I can’t endorse either. It’s like voting on whether you would prefer to crawl a mile through broken glass or a mile through a sewer. Sure, the right promises you knee-pads in exchange for their vote, and the left promises you snorkels for theirs. But there really is no win.
So why am I talking about politics when I have no loyalty to the left or the right?
The same reason that I talk about most topics – I don’t identify with either side.
But the issue that I see is that both sides of the political spectrum tend to have one thing in common – they both want to tell the people what they should think, what they can say, and what sorts of games they can play.
They are both authoritarian.
And I will refer to Elliott Hulse’s idea of “content vs. context” to illustrate why this makes them both the same. The stuff that each side wants to ban is not that important – it is all fluff. Whether the thing being banned is certain cars, ideas, thoughts, weed, vaping, or words – it doesn’t really matter.
It is all content of a wider context that saturates both sides.
They both want to tell me how to live.
Now, as I have said in earlier posts, I have no problem with having laws in place to protect an individual’s life, liberty and property. But that is all they should be policing. The government’s role is simply to provide a framework in which a country can operate.
I’d like to see a candidate who encapsulates that, rather than legislating to the level of minutiae of what pronouns we are to use.
And I suppose that makes me a libertarian, if you have to put a label to it.
So who would I vote for? Nobody in New Zealand – our political parties all seem to be determined to make the country a kindergarten.
But if I had a vote in the US, I’d vote Trump. Simply because he is the Grand Theft Auto of political candidates.
He pisses off the left, naturally, but he also challenges the out-of-touch, traditionalist conservatives, standing out as a brazen middle finger to the established oligarchy.
He is scaring the mainstream authoritarian-left media, which is why every second article that I see on news websites (in NZ anyway) is a petty, speculative attack on him.
But you can only call call someone a sexist racist so many times without any basis in fact. I guess that’s why the media have stooped to the unbelievably low bar of taking a shot at his deceased mother’s hair.
They are desperate to discredit him.
But in all honesty, the outcome of the US election isn’t all that important to me. My only hope is that the winning candidate is someone who will allow people the autonomy to be free and provide a framework for a stable society.
After all, that’s really all that matters.