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The Politics of “They Did It, So Why Can’t I?”

 

Have you been paying attention to how opposing politicians attempt to undermine their opposition?  I know that it’s hard, the same senseless bullshit dribbling out of their mouths, on every side, coming from every angle.  None of us any longer truly agree with anything anyone says and this is what is really the problem.  But no one gives us a reason to believe and I suppose this is more than just our own fault.

 

Listen to the way these people argue their points.  I will give you some partisan examples:

Image result for whataboutism

Image result for whataboutism

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Another thing to remember

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We see this tactic all the time, on every side, defending the wrong doing of a favored side on a finally meaningless debate by trashing the opposition instead of supporting whomever it is that you stand for.

 

The idea of corruption itself has become a wildly accepted yet still questionable allegation.  If everyone is corrupt, how can we any longer condemn such practices?  Listen–I am somewhat to the left, although far from party affiliated.  I like to believe myself a true independent, but even this has become a political party

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I mean, if you are ‘independent,’ sure, you can condemn the stances of organized political cults, but how can you abide a symbol meant to define who you are?  Look, here:

Image result for independent party

Image result for independent party

Image result for independent party

Look at that last one, slightly more than a third of US citizens declaring themselves somehow independent of the corporations that run the government.  And yet, and yet, this apparent majority of people consider the very idea of independence a lost cause and we quiver and bark out whichever one-sided ideologies we have, and disenchant our support for whichever side it is that slightly represents our personal views.  We declare the idea of independence a lost cause–“they could never win!” we sourly lament, sneering at the side that might be 54% against our interests.

 

Look, it is easy to vilify politicians of every stripe, representing every social purpose, condemning both left and right and every little issue in between.  Politicians are corrupt by nature, if not when they first decide to run, then once they get a taste of power and decide that the world is theirs for the taking.  Depending on whatever ideology you personally might follow we can condemn anyone and everything as corrupt just so long as the smug self-righteousness of our opposition seek to undermine our values based on what can only be acknowledged as selfishness, greed, and arrogance.  This is not a reference to either left wing or right, but a condemnation of all party affiliations, seeking to impose whatever shrieking cry of disgust the people who vote for you demand to correct a world all of us see as going wrong.  My personal views are meaningless (for an idea of what these might be, please check out some earlier discussions), and so are yours.  No one really cares what you think.  The people whom you vote for don’t care what you really believe.  No one cares.  Your family disagrees with you.  We all ‘double down,’ scream our personal truths without actually understanding how these ideas apply to anyone other than ourselves.  Sure, we might attempt to impose such views on our families and I wonder how many Thanksgivings have been destroyed by this singular attempt to impose our will.  I suspect that all of you know exactly what I am talking about, regardless of your views.

 

When I called this piece “The Politics of ‘They Did It, So Why Can’t I?’ I was hoping that you might see through the proclamations of your ideological heroes.  No longer does it matter if some politico broke the law, but only if an opposition figure got away with it.  Remember when Obama was in office and the right-wing allegations of his criminal activities were rampant?  Remember how they talked about George W. Bush and the way that laws were changed and the freedom the new administration was granted because their rivals had created new allowances?  Now think about Trump, with the same dismissive waves–“remember when Obama broke the law?  If he did, why can’t we?”  And this is the final argument among the petty, bickering partisans we continue to allow to run our government.  It is like a childhood argument with your parents–“Why does he get to do it if I can’t?”  It is more than just crooked and it is far less than corruption.  All everything is from every side from every partisan agenda is a greedy temper tantrum demanding that we get to be just as wrong as those we cannot stand.

 

We are trapped in this world of so-called ‘fake news,’ where even the truth can be dismissed because our partisan perspectives refuse to allow such negatives (or positives) to be considered.  And so ‘fake news’ isn’t even a lie any longer, but merely a propaganda tactic of whichever side is not trying to prove their point, but is more interested in demeaning the other side.  We live in a world of lies where even the truth is considered suspect.  We cannot claw our way out of this either, our opinions having been raised beyond the radical stupidity people like all of us used to dismiss.  Our opinions are now the new facts and all we think about, instead of our truth, is just how wrong anyone disagreeing must be, and why, and for what, and who do they represent, and how has this conspiracy against our singular idea of truth caught on with such a partisan huff?

 

All of our opinions are wrong, at least to a certain extent.  We cull whatever bleak facts we have at hand and transform them into a truth that cannot abide anything outside of ourselves.  And so we are wrong, all of us wrong, demeaning and declaring Donald Trump some kind of prophet.  No, he is nothing more than a symbol, a representation of who we really are in a cynical age where nothing outside of our limited view really matters.  And remember, before you attack or defend anyone or anything, just remember these long ago words of wisdom:

Image result for joseph de maistre get the government we deserve

Consider this, thinking about just how dissatisfied you are with the nation in which you live the next time your dwindling election day comes, and you wonder what is the point, what is the point, why should I even bother?  It’s because you deserve it, all of us deserve it, and our individual disgust with whomever or whatever is controlling some fragmented part of a dwindling democratic government is merely a representation of who it is that we have become.

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