Sometimes it is best to avoid politics. To avoid religion. To walk away from controversy, if only for a day. Listening to all of the arguing and name-calling and childish pettiness can wear you out. And it becomes increasingly difficult to claw your own way through the mire and try to stand above it.
Let’s look, briefly, at the recent statement of Eric Holder (“They go low, we kick them,”) versus the at the very least well-meaning comment by former first lady Michelle Obama (“They go low, we go high”). I am curious if these basic thoughts can be reconciled, or if, in fact, they are different at all. I say that they’re not.
To ‘kick them–‘ even if this is literal, an actual devolution into violence, is the sinking to the level of the opposition. And the opposition in this case–the far right-wing–has never actually favored peace. Throughout all of history it is the far-right that have committed most of the horrific acts, from burning witches to slaughtering Jews and other perceived villains, to public lying and grandstanding and cracking down with martial law and other forms of inquisition.
The far left-wing, of course, cannot claim to be any better. Here are the additionally censorious regimes, the genocides based wholly on political belief (instead of religious, although to many on the left their politics are their religion). The far left are the terrorists that blow things up and claim innocence in the name of a cause. The far right has no cause other than self-preservation and maintaining the status quo, whether it be through slavery, religious oppression or draconian laws instituted to oppress.
The left are guilty of this too, attempting to engage in speech laws and so desperate to promote equality that they will outright destroy freedom in order to force it down the throats of the grumbling, terrified masses. The right only kills you, or pulls out your tongue. The left tries to reform you, demanding conversion to their way of thinking if you want to rejoin society.
But are these tactics truly any different? The right was once know for “convert or die” while the left condemns everything that may hurt someone’s feelings–except for the feelings of those who actually believe in freedom. There is no difference between this, really. The far right and the far left are exactly the same. They stand for the same absolutist values, a demand to bend all social will to their form of belief. Both far right and far left seek to control the world, singularly. And the impact these radicals have on the otherwise cogent masses is an absolute disruption of the social fabric. In days when all opinions are valid, and facts are a malleable concept used for anyone’s benefit, there is no cause for belief in anything. Which is where we have gotten to today.
The “we go high” argument is both condescendingly superior as well as wide open to mockery. There is nothing easier than turning righteousness into a character flaw. It is how the evil generalizations that infect society spread. Most people are not involved, or they hardly care until something hits closer to home. And then we have the Nazis or Antifa, similar sides on a scratched up, two-headed coin. All these radicals are easy to fear–we should fear them. All they desire is an absolutist vision of purity. This is all that fascists want, the world to bend to their will and then kneel.
And so we are left with the small-minded and directionless rage of both the far right-wing and the far left. Fools, all of them. Fundamentalists. Monsters. And I feel the need to repeat, one more time: There difference between them does not exist. Eventually they both come full circle and become the exact same thing.
Going low is what every side does any longer–it seems the only thing left we have both the time and patience for. If you can offend someone so deeply, so sincerely, if you can take away their very humanity, then what are we left with? Look around you, look at your world.
Do you see?