“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”
Before I start on the theme of this article, have you ever seen a US president more obsessed with his predecessor? It has gotten to a stage where he just throws his name into his statements without any real context.
Anyway…you have no doubt read volumes on what happened in Charlottesville and it is not my wish to delve too much further into the horrific events, at least not here.
What I want to point out is something I feel is crucial for the progressive platform to gain more followers, and it is a very simple one.
Rumour has it that human civilisation once believed premises like the earth being the centre of the universe, or at other times that it was a flat plain as opposed to a spherical planet. Maybe such misconceptions don’t effect people’s everyday life, but then again it’s hard to have a philosophical grasp on existence when you don’t even have the fundamentals correct.
So what I’d like to challenge is the way we label political ideologies as ‘left’ and ‘right’, because it suggests some kind of balance between the two. On the most basic level, what we call the left represents a society that is fair to everyone while the right does not.
But to properly understand where the conflict comes from you first must appreciate how it started. Whether you believe in evolution or creation, there must have existed a time when the human race had no elitism. Then as it became clear that certain resources were more valuable than others, some people took control of them and were selective about those with whom they were shared.
Over time those who had control over the resources got better and better at holding on to that power. Countries with tyrannical leaders simply run roughshod over their opposition, while those which claim to be democracies use a variety of tools to make sure elections go the way of the ruling classes.
Donald Trump became president on the back of one of these tools, ie supporting a specific group of voters he felt could help get him elected; in this case middle to lower class white men who felt that the civil rights movement had somehow discriminated against them.
Because this movement provided votes for the Republican party, it is considered to be on the ‘right’. And because the obvious racist and fascist leanings of this movement, it has become fashionable to label them as ‘alt-right’. Even with this distinction though, the fact that it is called any kind of ‘right’ seems to lend it equal status to whatever is called the ‘left’.
As the mainstream media fully supports the left-right paradigm, the President can claim, however wrongly, that he is being fair to ‘all sides’.
What we who have been shoved on the ‘left’ of this pseudo-spectrum must do is renounce it. A society that purports to be fair to all citizens is not half the argument. It is the only one. Of course we won’t all agree on how it is to be achieved, but given we believe in fairness, chances are the discussions are going to be devoid of such words as ‘fire and fury’.
Anyone who feels they have to ‘tone down’ their views to somehow ‘be fair’ and ‘not exclude the conservative opinion’ is basically validating the very argument that conservatives want.
The white men who marched on Charlottesville are bigots. Nothing they feel was ‘taken from them’ was really theirs in the first place. To offer them any sense of legitimacy is not being fair, it’s not being balanced. It is turning back the clock on American society to a time when the ruling classes needed only the crudest, most basic tools to hold on to power, as opposed to the more intricate ones they use today.
Progressives need to stop allowing themselves to be defined by a scale that doesn’t really exist.