Positions, not parties

posted by Jeff | Monday, January 22, 2018, 8:00 PM | comments: 0

Continuing on the theme of crappy political discourse, I'm sure you notice that if you were to criticize a politician on the Internets, you're already, in the mind of someone who doesn't agree with you, playing for one team or the other. Now, I realize that the party system forces elected folks to tow the party line (well, it doesn't have to, but it seems they don't have the spines to stand up for anything on their own terms), but there really isn't a lot of incentive for you as an individual to sign-up red or blue. As I've said a hundred times, you can't treat politics as a sports rivalry. Trust me, I'm originally from Cleveland, and I know what aligning yourself with losers is like because of the Browns.

Consider this: You're a thinking person with diverse experiences, and you're taking in new information every day. The inevitable outcome is that your thinking will evolve on various issues, because that's what having an engaged brain does. You can change your position, and deviate from the party because you're committing to the position. This also frees you from having to associate with a particular elected person if they happen to be immoral in some way, like a racist or a someone who has admitted to assaulting women. Taking a position without the party says, "I have strong feelings about this, but I will not align with everything some party has to say."

Besides, both parties do the same silly shit. The Republicans want you to be scared of brown people, the Democrats want you to be scared of rich people. The former spend money on unfunded tax cuts, the latter on social programs. You don't need to pick a side with equally crappy ideologues.

I find this arrangement convenient, because the third party I really want doesn't exist. As I said back then, you can't pick and choose civil liberties. I think health care is a right, but not a college education. Unions are great for safety advocacy but unrealistic for wage advocacy. You can't engage in these seemingly diametric positions if you pick a team.


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