Starting things out light with one of my favorite commercials, which happens to be for one of my favorite games.
Let’s talk about ‘party lines.’
No one is calling it that, but that’s what everyone means. All those posts you see on facebook and twitter, all those comment sections saying you need to make sure the Democrats win, regardless of the candidate, that you need to ensure the Republicans win, regardless of the candidate.
What people are telling you is to fall in line or shut up.
You better fall in line or you’re given the country to the enemies.
You better fall in line or you’re taking away the rights from ______________.
You better fall in line.
You better fall in line.
I think this is worth thinking about. Worth it for you to think about.
We’ve created sides, built barriers, built vocabularies of hate and separation, carved holes to fill with mines, drawn maps to define enemy and ally territories, and now both sides have come down to this. And they are using the same vocabulary in the same way.
The Republicans, who advocate for what they believe are conservative or traditional values.
The Democrats, who advocate for what they believe are progressive or liberal values.
We’ve created an arbitrary aisle and split the world between left and right. We’ve decided that to disagree is to become the enemy.
To vote for a third party is to assist the enemy, regardless of where you stand in relation to that aisle.
We’re digging ourselves deeper and deeper into an ideological civil war.
The difference is that there are guns in the hands of millions and they’re already acting on these ideologies. The state and citizens are acting ideologically, without regard for humanity.
We have the state murdering citizens and citizens murdering citizens in the name of ideology. We have political officials calling for the annihilation of entire peoples and countries. We have political officials who have called for the execution of US citizens. We throw around words like traitor, patriot, terrorist, and on and on. We imprison journalists, equate the act of journalism with an act of terrorism. We fill our prisons with anyone brown, the foreign, the whistleblowers, the journalists, the poor.
Our presidential candidates are all imperialists who advocate for the destruction of foreign lives. Some more viciously. One who is already a war criminal, who is lauded by other war criminals. Some who promise to be war criminals and commit other crimes against humanity.
When people tell me to fall in line and vote with the party, I hear them asking me to vote for crimes against humanity, for war, for american terrorism, imperialism.
People have made their positions vigorously clear.
In every sentence. Every post. We discuss politics like the Super Bowl.
Anything goes as long as my team wins.
We talk about it like war.
The Other is the enemy and we need to win at any costs.
This destroys my hope in america, already difficult enough to muster.
I want to have hope and I want to believe, but all of this–it’s so utterly depressing.
I used to say that I believe in Americans but not in america, but I don’t know. The distinction is becoming more and more irrelevant.
We lost. All of us. Probably a long time ago. Civil war is everywhere and it’s now. The world is at war everywhere and most of them have the sticky fingers of american imperialism in them. By many estimations, it’s even too late to turn back the effects of the anthropocene, which will only create more conflict and destabilisation. More power vacuums that our imperial nations will fill.
We’re fighting over a future of ash and our response is to make it burn faster so long as we reign over it.
I’d feel pity if I weren’t so depressed and disgusted by the whole affair.
Fall in line.
Do what the party says.
Because this is how we win.
This is how we Make America Great Again.
This is Change You Can Believe In.
This is how Everyday Americans Get A Champion.
This is how we Reignite The Promise Of America.
This is how we get A New American Century.
This is how we Unleash The American Dream.
I absolutely believe you should vote for whoever you believe will improve the world, but all I see is hate. Your belief that you are right is making you an agent of divisiveness, of hate. Your belief that there is nothing in common between you and a liberal or you and a conservative is actively making the world and our country worse.
You are part of the problem.
I’m not especially interested in arguing these points. You can believe whatever you like. You can continue to attack instead of discuss. You can continue to fight instead of find a way to wade through ideology.
Do whatever you like.
But don’t pretend that by ‘winning’ you’re doing anything but increasing tension and aggression. Eventually, this will spill out. It already is. In Ferguson. At Planned Parenthoods across the country. In an Oregon Wildlife Refuge, which, by the way, you actively damaged by mailing them dildos and confetti and whatever else–it’s a wildlife refuge that you flooded with garbage, much of it nonbiodegradeable, so, sure, pat yourself on the back for your great joke and sticking it to those people you hate, but you actively damaged the refuge possibly more than they did–and I hope you feel terrible about that because you absolutely should.
You did a stupid, vile thing to a place you pretended to care about and you managed to sow more hate and separation in the process.
Yes, words do matter, and it’s very appropriate that you’re all using the vocabulary of war. Because you’re fighting a war of your own creation.
But I’m just going to ignore you from now on. Play some videogames. Read good books and try to share those things with others. Give money and support to the causes I believe in. And just try to improve the lives of those around me to the best of my ability for the decades we may have left.
Even if all I can do is make someone smile every once and a while.
Here’s a picture of my dead dog. I miss her very much.