Does it matter? Do political views really matter?
Of course it matters. If mankind had thought of a better way to do politics than, well, doing politics, then we’d have started doing something else by now. It’s unfortunate that politics involves so much arguing and dealing with stubborn people, but that’s the cost of ensuring the right systems are put in place for the right people.
In the not-too-distant past, my schtick was arguing religion. I stopped bothering with that subject because I ultimately realized the things I was arguing were, essentially, politics. I’ve never cared if people believe in a god, what I cared about, and still care about, is what people do with that belief. Hence, politics. Not to mention, I realized that someone can be despicable both with and without religion.
I was raised by conservatives. If I were to measure just how right-wing the families that raised me were, I’d say they were center-right. None of the families that raised me cared anything for guns, or nationalism, or racial segregation. I was raised to be nonviolent, to be compassionate, and to be accepting of all people, regardless of race, or disability, or belief. The only strictly-right-wing things I was raised with was having an aversion to abortion and gay marriage.
I’m 27 now, and my political views are now center-left. Basically, they haven’t changed a whole lot. All that’s really changed is that I don’t think homosexuality is wrong, and I believe women should be able to choose what is in their bodies, even if it’s a fetus (though I consider it wrong, even murderous, if she waits past the first trimester to abort).
I believe a person’s political stance is a combination of their life experiences, factual knowledge, and inner desires. At the end of the day, your inner desires will dictate everything, which can be an unfortunate or a desirable trait about human beings. At my core, I am a liberal. I want everyone regardless of their appearance, beliefs, or background to have equal rights and opportunities. I want everyone to do well.
Wouldn’t it be great if life was that simple? Like, let’s just give everyone complete, total freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and then Earth will be one big utopian paradise, right? Haha yeah no.
One of the hardest truths I learned growing up is that most people do not have everyone’s best interests in mind. Most people are concerned only with their own wellbeing, or of the group they identify with, which is usual racial or religious. Growing up, I heard a lot of talk radio, which is 110% conservative, and all I ever heard from these people was that America can never do anything wrong, especially if America currently has a Republican president. This disgusted me to no end. Upon self-discovering that I’m a liberal by heart, and being disgusted with the right-wing, I sided with the left. But then, the left started behaving the same way as the right, with their tribalism, their detachment from reality, their ‘us versus them’ mentality, their purity contests, and their witch hunts against anybody they don’t like even if it’s one of their own. The left was no longer liberal.
When both sides disgust you, and there are only two sides to choose from, you can only stay in the middle. Be a centrist. Don’t choose a side, except the side of reason and morality. This doesn’t mean that centrism is inherently the most moral or sensible, but I do believe it’s the closest we can get to truth and perfection as flawed human beings. Centrism, by definition, tries to see what both sides have to say, and pick what they like from either side at any given time.
When I say that centrism isn’t inherently righteous, I really mean it. If you look at Adolf Hitler’s political compass, you’ll find something rather startling. He was a centrist as well. Sure, he may have been highly authoritarian, when most centrists are libertarian, but it still doesn’t negate the fact Hitler was centrist. One can just as easily pick the worst aspects of the left and the right, instead of picking the best aspects. So, maybe being purely libertarian is the most righteous? Well, no again, because that would be anarchy. A world with no order is a world with no peace. A world under tyranny is also a world with no peace.
I could elaborate on this all day, literally. I won’t though. I’ll just cut to my point. My point in all of this is: We need to be willing to be both strong and sensitive. We need to be able to discuss different ideas, while drowning out certain ideas as well. Life is complicated. Humans are complicated. There is no simple solution to all the world’s problems. But at the very least, I believe we must consider all people to have value. We should start from there, then proceed.
If you’re dying to know what my exact political compass is, here you go: