Your politics are your world-view

Your politics are your world-view.

I remember reading something about that a while ago, which I can't recall the source of. We like to talk about politics as this detachable entity that we can leave out of the equation, like we leave out our tastes in food, and whether or not we use bleach in the wash. Can we talk about the fingers and ignore the hand? Maybe, in nebulous conversations in a political science lecture hall, we can turn politics into some kind of Socratic tea dance; but outside of that conversation? What you speak is what you are. I'm not talking so much about where you vote, since people often enough vote differently than they believe. But that says something about a person as well. What you vote for is what you're willing to tolerate. You can't separate your self from your politics any more than you can say that what you are at election time is not the same person you are the rest of the time. It all matters. The idea that you can separate your politics from the rest of your existence is a Western privilege; or, at the very least, the privilege of the secure - something you should be grateful for, and realise the preciousness of, and not use as a bludgeon to thump those who call you out. It's an intellectual advantage that should never be weaponised, but sometimes is; and that's a frightening act. It falls in the realm of blaming the 'other' when you yourself are the fault; or, at the very least, an asshole of the 'devil's advocate' variety.

Your politics can show whether you care about others or don't, whether you are a liberal thinker or a tight conservative, whether you're insular or global-thinking, your kindness, your ability or willingness to see a bigger picture rather than merely the environs of your own front yard, whether you are visceral or cogitative, whether you're generous of spirit or miserly, whether you care, whether you don't care, if an angel or an ass, a demon or a saviour. They can be a measure of a person's fear, rage, stupidity, intelligence, or even hope. They measure how you feel about the 'other'. They can show you off or show you up, possibly in ways some other things might never do. There are enormous grey areas in human morality sometimes, but elections are a black or white, yes or no indicator of what you choose as your priority. Sometimes that priority is fair, wisely thought out, and considered as a basis for future betterment; but given the blind knee-jerk way that many vote by, voting can be a litmus test for your baseline, in an "in vino veritas" kind of way.

I hate politics; rather, how politics evolves around an election specifically. I despise the mental midgets it turns some folks into, and the animals and bullies it makes of others. I hate the jockeying. I hate how it can bring out the worst in people. I sometimes hate it because it forces you to find out things about people you'd rather never have known. I'm a realist, for the most part; but even I'd occasionally rather live in the little bubble that doesn't force me to see just how depraved the human race can be. Politics can tear down heroes, and expose the raw inner flesh. I dislike its divisiveness; which is pretty useless in the situation in which we're living, where we're all on the same boat, and we'll all drown just as hard and fast by everyone fighting for the oar.

I have my beliefs, and I'll stand by them, but the whole subject is about as appealing as having a root canal without anaesthesia; especially when part of the inner conversation you're having with yourself is whether or not you can still respect someone whose politics are so divergent from your own that you wonder if they are not objectionable as a person.

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To round back to the point before I depart, what you vote for is what you are willing to tolerate, so I'll be blunt. If you vote for someone with racist allegiances, then you are willing to tolerate those racist allegiances and what they could bring. Scheer openly hired a member of Rebel Media as his campaign manager. A politician of his level does not hire someone like that without being completely aware of the optics of doing so: either he accepts what this person believes, or he's willing to use that person's connections/abilities for his own ends. Both of those things are, to put it simply, distasteful.  In fact, when questioned about Marshall's appointment, Scheer is quoted as saying:

"I didn't ask Hamish about every client he had," Scheer said in response to a question from the Globe and Mail. "He has a variety of clients. He's a small-business owner himself, and I asked him to do a job and he helped me out on my campaign."

That sure is some "Hey, look over there" weak tea, Andrew.

When presented with opportunities to show that there was truth in his speechifying about how there's no room for racists in the Conservative party, Scheer took no action. Members of the party retained party status, and their positions. If there's a no tolerance policy, Andrew, why are  you tolerating it? And given that Scheer spent a good portion of his current reign trying to maintain his two-tiered citizenship system that Stephen Harper advanced, don't think he won't take whatever opportunity he can to strip at least a million Canadians of their citizenship protections. If this does not make sense to you, it means that anyone with dual citizenship would no longer have any consular protections abroad, and their Canadian citizenship is revocable with, potentially, no recourse. If you are now wondering why they don't just renounce the other half, remember that they shouldn't have to to begin with, and that some countries make it extremely expensive and difficult to do so.

That there's a good slippery slope catalyst. Whose citizenship gets the chop next?

We have been lucky enough in this country to be able to watch the theatre of the far-right evolve and unfold on the stage of our neighbours to the south. Don't think that can't happen here. Socially, it already is. Just remember that we don't have to help it politically when election time comes in October. Don't give it air, ground, or teeth. Tell it to go packing.

Don't think that the old-style, puppy-dog faced, Joe Clark fiscal conservative is lurking there beneath the surface. That party no longer exists. It hasn't existed since the federal Conservatives merged with the Reform, which is the single worst thing to ever happen in this country politically. I'm sorry it did. Now, those who are fiscally conservative but not socially so, have no party (or so they think). But they still vote that way because they think there's no options for them. There is. Just read the major party platforms again. You'll see it yourself.

Really, there is no left any longer. If you're still afraid of what Tommy Douglas did in this country, then you've got other problems that need addressing. There are certain realities about the future of this country that would not be well-served by a Conservative leadership - and certainly not by Maxime Bernier's crackpot alt-right - many of which are layered and complex and need to be addressed, but the two most impactful to consider right this very minute, and in October, are not giving any more ground than we have to to the right (and racism), and making sure that someone gets elected who can responsibly deal with climate change issues and the environment, even if that means those of us who self-indulge on that score have to suck It up and think of breathable air 30 years from now, and not just our bank accounts tomorrow.

2019 08 03 - 13:14

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