Because of my quirky political views (which have admittedly evolved a lot in the last few years), people are starting to see me as a right-winger, or at least a centrist, masquerading as a liberal. Let me go ahead and cut right to the chase on that (by which I mean “let me write a dissertation about it.”)
Despite my misgivings toward the establishment Democratic party – they are too economically centrist/pro-corporate and way too focused on identity politics – THAT’S ON YOU, PELOSI! – I still believe they have the more sensible platform and I continue to reluctantly support them, even though I intensely dislike the fact that we are stuck in a dysfunctional, hyper-partisan, two-party system and wish that we could mobilize an effective effort to change it.
In reality, I’m so thoroughly defined by progressive ideals that I see sectarianism as a conservative, right-wing phenomenon that is actually shrinking on “the right” as it grows on “the left”, ironically as our society grows more egalitarian, not less, with regard to race, sex, gender, and creed, showing that they are rooted in outdated frameworks for analyzing society that inappropriately cast entire categories of people as oppressors or victims, completely ignoring:
a.) the fact that wealth concentration is a much greater destructive force to our society, across all sub-populations, than any existing group-specific issue (lol trans bathrooms), and
b.) the reality of individual agency that has the ability to almost fully shape our lives in the modern world, even despite point a.
On the “right”, these days, it’s mostly a manifestation of general ignorance reinforced by Fox News propaganda (i.e. “those Muslims are threatening our safety!”, or “those atheists are destroying Christmas!”, or “those immigrants are taking our jobs!”). On the “left”, however, it’s a manifestation of ideological indoctrination reinforced from mainstream media other than Fox News. Radical feminism, black separatist movements, and lgbt identitarianism all stem from this.
Victimhood (along with its allies) as a shared identity can be intoxicating to the ego. This can lead to people screaming louder about it the less of a real problem it becomes. This is in contrast to people who are actually victimized in real ways, who often shut down and detach from society or even start to defend their victimization a la Stockholm Syndrome. As a result, we have an entire society of people buying into way-overblown conspiracy theories to perpetuate their beliefs around victimhood like (on the right) terror babies or (on the left) the new Jim Crow.
To make matters even worse, we apply outrageous double standards to expected social behavior based on whether you fit into a perceived oppressor group or a perceived victim group, which leads to unnecessary escalations in social tensions, since that isn’t how things work at an individual level even if you concede that’s how they work at a societal level (it’s an oversimplification at best.)
The solution to all of this is to become a true progressive as MLK and many other thought leaders in the 20th century were – to stop sectarian propaganda and recognize that we are all part of a societal whole. At this point, a trip out of your liberal metropolis into the interior will reveal our problems as a society are bigger than our problems as individual groups that comprise that society, and discussions regarding solutions need to be focused around that recognition – unifying us rather than keeping us divided.