This post isn’t aimed at any person in particular. Rather it is aimed at our society as a whole & the ridiculous self righteousness I’m constantly seeing these days. It happens every year but it’s always the worst during election years. Throw in coronavirus & of course that makes things even more intense (read: crazy) this year!
As a Libertarian, I have written many times about how I frequently feel isolated in this world, ever an outsider surrounded by many who seem to fit so neatly into the various political & religious boxes that society draws for us. In reality of course I know that many folks who do fit in those boxes are probably full of doubts & questions but just aren’t open or honest about them for fear of being rejected or losing social stigma. Particularly for my friends in small town America I fully understand that dilemma. But that’s a post for another day. (To be clear, even among Libertarians I am often a bit of an outsider because of some of my views.)
In any case, what’s really griping me lately is the smug sense of self righteousness & moral superiority that I see all over the media & social media these days. It comes from both sides, though probably a bit worse from the Left since they have such a massive influence on both the media & social media, but really it does go both ways. I am just sick of seeing folks virtue signaling & calling out anyone who disagrees with them as evil, stupid, ignorant, bigoted, sexist, racist, homophobic, heathen, or generally morally inferior.
I’ve got news for you, folks. Regardless of your political or religious beliefs, you haven’t cornered the market on compassion. You don’t have a monopoly on ministering to others. Your beliefs or political affiliations do not make you a better person- they just don’t! Like it or not, y’all, it’s just not that simple.
To those on the Left, have you ever considered that those of us who aren’t socialists & don’t support a massive welfare state feel that way because we truly don’t feel those things are serving the greater good? I’m sure there are some people on the Right who only care about their own pockets but most conservative people I know aren’t like that at all. Many of us truly believe that smaller government leads to greater freedom, prosperity, opportunity, & happiness for all. Many of us sincerely believe in equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome.
And to those on the Right, have you ever considered that not everyone who supports keeping abortion legal is truly a baby-killer who wants to see infants murdered? Have you considered that many only want abortion kept legal because of cases of rape & incest or other such horrific conditions? Have you considered that this is indeed a much more complex issue than “Well, they should have just waited for marriage”? Furthermore, have you considered that abortion in some format has existed (& does exist) in every society in the world? While that does not make it good, it does mean that it’s never going to completely disappear.
I just wish that people would stop making so many assumptions about others. Stop assuming I watch Fox News because I diss CNN. (In reality I don’t have cable TV & wouldn’t watch either even if I did!) Stop assuming that your neighbor who’s a Republican hates black people or all immigrants. Stop assuming that your friend who’s a Democrat wants to kill all babies or rip apart every nuclear family. Just stop assuming you know all there is to know about a person! I see so many people claiming they are choosing a particular candidate because they care about others. That’s fantastic- but don’t assume that everyone who chooses differently than you automatically doesn’t care about others! Perhaps their interpretation of what is actually helping others is different than yours- & that is ok!
In reality I know lots of really wonderful people on all sides of the political spectrum, but I am just so tired of seeing folks on all sides make all kinds of negative assumptions & generalizations about those who disagree with them. Trust me, I know why it happens. We’re all guilty of it at times, if we’re being truly honest. We do it because it makes us feel better about our own beliefs; furthermore it makes us feel less guilty about any doubts we may have about those beliefs. It makes it easier to push away any conflicted feelings we have about issues that rip at our very consciences. And frankly I think it’s just human nature to paint the world in a very “us vs them” picture. But the truth is we are all losing when we do that. It’s only in recognizing the humanity in each of us that we can begin to see true progress in society.
As cliche as it may seem I will conclude this post with a quote that I think is a good starting place any time we feel the need to rip others apart & denigrate them as morally inferior to ourselves simply because they disagree with us. Namaste- the divine in me honors the divine in you.