Identity politics and the oversimplification of complex problems are destroying today’s world. We see this in many campaigns organized by political parties to wage war on various issues that appeal to them. People want bite-sized slogans to carry on their banners and communicate with others on social media without going into much detail. However, the issue is the detail is where the truth lies in its quality, quantity, and clarity.
Details are where people can judge the veracity of specific information, the justification of headlines, and the attendant slogans coined from them. It is where people can judge the reasonableness of the conclusions reached by political parties and the media houses supporting them on issues that affect the public. I have read so many news articles, even some that people were sharing in anger for one injustice or another, like some police shooting of a supposedly innocent black man. This is a standard narrative among liberals in the USA, and it hurts many people deeply, including this black man writing this when it is true.
But I also notice how some key details are sometimes surreptitiously and maliciously hidden from the public to tweak the overall quality of the action of the police officer. An action that would have been judged self-defense or a horrible mistake fuelled by fear is adjusted by withholding critical information to make the officer look like an aggressor. Or the J6 issue, where the media painted a relatively more violent picture than the latter footage revealed. And apparently, the authorities purposely held back some of those to fuel a specific narrative and effectively withhold the truth.
My father schooled in Pittsburg in the sixties and had quite a balanced view of America’s issues. In his opinion, this was the worst. People cannot access the truth because every government worships money and the people bringing it. And such people usually do not like the truth. Truth has been so twisted that right now, we are at war against people who deny the reality of the two sexes and are pleased to mutilate and destroy the lives of children and teenagers. People who believe life is easy or should be easy and that any perceived flaw in any system means it is eminently evil and should be fought against, not repaired. And those who believe that the best way to make sense of the world, society, and everything is to divide each thing into groups and condemn or praise them accordingly.
And even though these people believe truth is relative, erecting so many conflicting absolute truths for themselves doesn’t feel like a contradiction. Example: Gender is a spectrum, but you should use hormones and surgeries to conform to a binary gender system.
It is easy to think this issue is only on the left, but you have to look carefully to see how the right has been worshipping on the altar of money, too.
Then you see responses from some right-wing independent journalists and influencers doing their best to balance the conversation. And I must admit they’re usually closer to the mark than their leftwing counterparts because they at least appeal to common sense. But I sense something of an overcorrection in a few issues like racism. This is not a regular thing, but I have heard some commentary from people who seemed to hold that colonization was good and that ‘if they were not colonized, where would they be today.’ And similar sentiments. Again, these are not simple issues to attack from any side.
Colonization is inhumane and should be roundly condemned unreservedly. But, we can still say there is some good from it, looking back without saying that we need to keep viewing every event of the world from this lens or the lens of slavery as the left tends to do. Or to disregard this problem entirely because ‘everyone was enslaved’ as the right tends to do. There is a middle ground, usually closer to the right than the left, because, in recent years, most of what the left has been peddling is horrible anti-human rhetoric, even when it appears ’empathetic’ on the surface.
Such people see misogyny everywhere, even in a simple conversation between a man and a woman. Who use words like “mansplaining” or “toxic masculinity,” which means absolutely nothing. Mansplaining means nothing because it suggests arrogance towards a woman. Which women can exhibit towards women and men too. So, how is this bad behavior exclusively attributed to men or solely perceived in male-female conversations? Does it mean men do not verbally oppress other men?
Another is “toxic masculinity,” which is simply bad behavior amplified solely when a man does it. Nothing about it is masculine since anyone can exhibit irrational or bad behavior. The problem is viewing the quality of actions based on identity and who is oppressed the most, which is stupid. This approach does not help anyone, including those who actually suffer misogyny, misandry, or other forms of discrimination and prejudice. When everyone is guilty, no one is guilty.
This middle ground is to avoid a universal judgment of issues that would lead to the condemnation of white people and the extolling of black people, for instance. Or the condemnation of men and the praise of women, both good and bad. We judge each person and event precisely to determine their moral quality and take a side on the many issues affecting each. So we can pick one issue, for instance, and say we condemn the overt racism in it but still praise the hard work of people involved in this or that fight against other social issues. We can hold that a person is complex and can do both good and evil and stop constantly condemning people based on their mistakes or ignorance. We can seek to learn that genuine goodness is in the pursuit of virtue, not in saying things that make us appear virtuous.
So the problem is, right now, the only way to move forward is:
To ensure that one votes for candidates based solely on the issues they represent. Suppose one sees that every major candidate represents morally evil positions like abortions. In that case, they should remove themselves entirely or seek out and support a more minor candidate with better moral character and mission. Our goal is to seek the truth wherever it may be hidden, and to do this, we approach without bias and with surgically steady hands to carve out the thin lines of the truth amidst the often broader systems of lies, injustice, prejudice, and death.
The question then is: what do liberals represent? Can one be a liberal and still stand against abortion and other ideologies opposed to good morals? I believe it is possible but incredibly difficult. It is better to only vote for candidates based on what they represent, not their parties.