(2 min 30 seconds to read)
I used to laugh off the extremists. Those on the fringe left who discourage offensive language, encourage patience with repressive Islamists, and promote a US conspiracy as the cause for the Muslims fighting each other .
I used to laugh off the birthers who criticized everything Obama did, as if he was any less authoritarian than George W. Bush. I used to dismiss those who thought the country was going socialist, while they ignored the fact that we all have our social security cards and the government was subsidizing big industries, from agriculture to oil to our banking system.
Then I really laughed at those who reacted to these dramatists on the fringe. The reactionaries on twitter and youtube who amplified and contested every emotional outburst from social justice warrior and libertarian alike, whether the post deserved attention or not.
The 24 hours news cycle that needed to be filled by CNN and FOX and other big media networks was no longer. You and me, our posts, podcasts, and tweets, were filling it now, with our feelings saturating the digital space.
And so now I wonder who out there doesn’t have a camp. Is there anyone left who won’t outright dismiss a statement coming from “the other side”? Have we become so emotionally charged, so easily led, that we cannot be allowed to have meaningful influence of government?
I was most sympathetic to libertarianism, because I think that large institutions are prone to soul-crushing and domineering, whether the institution is governmental or corporate. I put more trust in people. I value people’s freedom, not the institution’s. I believed the best change, the most meaningful change, came from the bottom up, not the top down.
I wanted to empower the people. But not so much anymore.
I wonder if it’s better to accept the liberal elitism which favors disempowering the population, in order to keep us from hurting ourselves.
“Son, I know you’re 18 years old, but let me have the keys. I’ll drive you wherever you need. It’s easier and safer for everyone.”
Maybe we do need a paternal government which limits our options and controls our economy, our paychecks, and our lifestyles.
Because from what I see, so many of us are thinking with our heart, or from our gut, but we’re not thinking about issues with our minds.
Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.
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