What I feel like is understated in the political environment today is the fact that the people advocating for legislation that is harmful to the planet and to the common people can’t be swayed by logic or any measure of compassion. This sort of unsympathetic, elitist attitude shown by those in power right now can be illustrated in these two quotes from online posts:
“[Referring to the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act] I don’t know how to explain to you why you should care about other people.”
-posted by Lauren Morrill
“The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of whom will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.”
-posted by Davis X. Machina
On the first point, it is a question of compassion and the urge to capitalise on an opportunity to better your own situation while worsening the condition of those you believe will be hurt by your actions and on the second point, it is a question of your status compared to those who you think are subpar to you and your desire to maintain your place at the top of the food chain.
The underlying idea to these attitudes is the fact that as long as nothing bad happens to themselves, then they’re fine with anything as long as they are better able to improve or maintain their own status. For example, there are many members of the Republican party who have deviated from the main agenda of the party because of their personal circumstances. Without naming any names, there is a congressperson that has an immigrant Hispanic wife and therefore opposes the proposed blanket deportation of all supposed illegals, there is a congressperson who has since said, quote “I will support whatever decision she makes,” when asked if he would still be adamantly pro-life if his daughter became pregnant and another congressperson dropped his prejudices against gay marriage because his daughter was a lesbian. These are only some of the examples where people had flip-flopped on issues because they know they are personally affected by the outcome.
So it’s clearly not a question about morality or what’s best for the values and traditions of the country. This is to make as miserable as possible the existence of people that aren’t you and your family. It is an attempt to hold onto an old status quo that should have been discarded and redefined long ago. They don’t want new rules. They want to impose theirs on everyone else not fortunate enough to be them.
So why do these people hold so much power when they clearly aren’t acting in the favour of their constituents? Because, you see, this sort of thought process isn’t only limited to those in power. The second quote illustrates the nature of entitlement and narcissism in this country. This attitude is widespread among the denizens of the United States, playing a big role in the systemic oppression and marginalisation of many racial and ethnic groups and that is also why it’s so dangerous.
It’s the same thing as saying, “I want all the comfort and rights any decent human being should have but more because I don’t want the people I think aren’t as good as I am to have those same rights.” So the rich that can afford costly medical treatment think it’s a waste of their money to help fund a program that provides relief to those who can’t afford treatment for life-endangering illnesses. The ones who grew up in complete families and loving parents disdain those in poverty and criticise them for the condition they were born into and ask why they couldn’t have just gotten a job and made things better for themselves and put their continual misery down to laziness(I could honestly write a whole article on why this is implausible but that’s a topic for another time.).
So how do you remedy this divide between human decency and their sense of what’s owed to them? Well, you can’t really unless circumstances somehow force their hand by threatening their comfort or status. Even if you can’t convert your next door neighbour by doing this, remember that you hold the power of the vote. If enough people make it known that they’re unhappy with how things are going in government and make it clear that it’s going to negatively impact these politician’s careers and reputations, then they’ll either have to step up or risk a painful decline in influence. The wrong side of history has always been so much more vocal than the right side and it takes a lot to drum up noise for support for progressive legislation so become organised and participate in the legal process.
Fulfill your duty as a person of common sense and serve on juries so cases of police brutality and rape among other crimes get the verdict they deserve. Those who live behind doors in their closed minds won’t change anything until the problem is right, quite literally, at their doorsteps.
That’s all for this time. As always, like and follow if you’ve enjoyed and tell us what you think of this topic in the comments or at our e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m Lieutenant and I’ll talk to you later.