As I’ve gotten older – wiser or not cast aside – it’s become increasingly apparent that the ‘very’ conservative and ‘very’ liberal (as I of course counted myself as one of in the innocent old days of MySpace!) are in fact coming from exactly the same place; just singing a different hymn. Affording yourself the bold identification as extremely anything comforts an all too often ‘very’ large and vulnerable ego.
And that to me, is so often a place of clinging to some sense of righteousness in order to try and untangle the complexity and difficulty surrounding so many areas of greyness. It all just seems so lazy. Social media has arguably so fuelled this contemporary trend of joining a camp and slinging mud at deemed opponents as opposed to entertaining the potential merits of any counter argument and striking some sort of workable progressing. It’s as though the childhood fallback of bickering seems to be encouraged as carrying some weight as opposed to the negotiations that I’d like to believe that adults could use to reach some form of agreement viewed as cowardly.
It seems as though defining yourself in terms of the principles that you supposedly subscribe towards leads towards as opposed to leaving it to those that witness your character as the most adept to cast their own judgments must automatically make you a tad shallow. Or maybe just a lacking in the maturity to adopt a more holistic opinion of human nature that doesn’t rely upon defining people under simplistic playground umbrella terms.
Admirable as adopting a fierce loyalty towards your own beliefs may be, it feels at times as though there is now some invisible license of accepting moral high-ground for your own opinions and reasoning. I mean, I even remember as a pre-pubescent – the strength of the UK Labour party and Clinton across the Atlantic at the time, may have fueled this perception of mine – holding a staunch belief that everybody must eventually recognise the error of their ways and we’d have to soon adopt socialism. So of course I was evangelical, long before I knew what the word meant. Holding-out that there had to be a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way of being politically definitely gave me some comfort in holding that my views were ethically superior and I was then a better and more rounded person. Alas, life slaps you around the face a fair few times and you learn that there is really no yellow brick road to follow.
This is always how the ‘very liberal’ camp become so very patronising. Once you start leading yourself down a path, your remit will automatically become narrower and you’ll be forced to use generalised and arbitrary measures to allow your viewpoint to prosper. Berating rather than listening or understanding to factors that may have caused other people’s reasoning. The ‘very liberals’ have such an open mind that it automatically closes when faced with any opinion that doesn’t follow their narrow trajectory.
Being a self-depreciating loving Brit, I’d say that our political landscape being so dominated by us middle-classes is a large part of what provokes this reaction, as we are the clowns that so dominate any political challenge and holding to account of our establishment. We chattering class liberals just sit there and validate our approach to life by condemning anybody who votes, shops, eats, thinks or behaves in any other way deviating from what is so obviously the right thing to do. All in this has to be as fine as long as it is understood to be ridiculous as it is a conservative approach to life.