I have had a passion for politics for quite some time now, and though I'm well aware as a college student that in the grand scheme of things my opinions don't matter very much, as of late I've grown quite weary of the direction and associated taboos attached to the modern political conversation. I've certainly changed a great deal in personal philosophy and approach over the recent years, and though clearly not a paragon of moral wisdom, I truly wish to help as many people as possible throughout the course of my life. My beliefs are directly derived from this aspiration, but rather than talk about the merits of a policy or ideology it has become remarkably easy to baselessly label myself or those similar to myself as evil.
I can't believe that universal healthcare is a poor idea for the reason that there is zero empirical evidence correlating the percentage of a population with governmentally promised healthcare to greater quality of care or improved mortality rates. This is especially true when the US isn't providing massive economic subsidies, and because the already existing single payer system of the VA has proven to be a massive failure. No, because I disagree with universal healthcare, I must hate the uninsured.
I can't be pro-Second Amendment because I believe in the right of the people to have the opportunity to defend themselves against a democratic turned oppressive government, which has repeatedly occurred throughout history across the globe. Furthermore, there isn't any evidence that the existence of more guns as a default leads to more murder. No, I must love mass shooters like Adam Lanza and dead kids littering the streets of Chicago.
I can't believe that an entire demographic of people with a suicide rate of 41% may present a liability in intense combat situations over long periods of time, no, I must hate transgender individuals. Nor can I be against abortion because I believe that a fetus is a person. No, I must hate women. I can't believe that the Department of Education should be disbanded because student scores have flat lined if not outright deteriorated since its inception despite many billions of dollars being thrown at the institution. No, I must hate an educated populace.
I can't love free trade because of the incredible degree to which it alleviates poverty and grows economies. No, I must hate the American factory worker. I can't disagree with raising the minimum wage because every occurrence of this in US history has led to higher unemployment and a lower labor force participation rate; nor because it has devastated restaurants in San Francisco due to the higher cost of labor employers are forced to subsidize. No, I must hate low wage employees.
This disgusting approach to disagreement has opened the door to genuine hatred, but such a remarkable climax of desensitization to what should be considered repulsive has occurred that there is no longer any reason to consider facts or evidence. Now how I feel reigns supreme. To be clear, it's not even that feelings in general are superlative, MY feelings are king, I don't care about you or your own.
Everyone wants to feel as if they themselves are paladins championing some righteous cause, even at the cost of truth. Why should truth matter, when as the central figure of my world, I know, I don't just believe, that truth is to be entirely relegated to my understanding of fairness? Truth is relative, and is simply an aspect of the collectivist culture where my identity is amalgamated. Disagreement is no longer disagreement; it is a blatant violation of the divine code of conduct in which individuals, having appointed themselves as god, have established a cosmically defined standard of equality and justice.
The entirety of millennial culture has transmogrified into a beast of hideous proportions, while there seems to be a very little regard for either principle or charity. The former comes in the shape of vitriol, while the latter barely has a shape at all. There only exist words signaling how much the other guy doesn't care; words, as we hopefully know, do not constitute action in and of themselves and thereby meaningless to the homeless sleeping under bridges. But who cares, right? Let's just say that someone else (government) should do something and whoever disagrees is a fascist Nazi who straps dogs to the tops of their cars and wants to re-enslave African Americans. To be honest, this level of extraordinary apathy towards what should be generally considered decency (i.e. civil discussion) has really enervated me. I'm tired of being classified, along with many friends and family members, by some deleterious label per civil issue.
Final point I'd like to briefly address is how these destructive habits are gradually bringing about the end of the fundamental pillars vital to the survival of a prosperous civilization. The USA is slowly but surely no longer becoming a nation of laws, but rather, a nation of men. People are fickle and needlessly change their minds based on their temporary perception of the current reality. Laws are meant to act with indifference towards the society at hand, and undermining such an essential institution is a clear step towards an inevitable legal conflagration. This is most obviously visible in the near universal insistence upon ‘winning' politically, in the form of people achieving some personal career aspiration, rather than winning through a successful policy that helps the people at large. Nobody cares about that version of winning, the only one that really counts, which is clearly demonstrated in how Seattle fired researchers over findings the city disapproves of regarding minimum wage. The only thing most people care about is self-exaltation, which means they are required by intrinsic obligation to promulgate their agenda no matter the cost. The cost as it turns out, is the livelihood of many millions of people, a large portion of who are blissfully content in their abhorrence of the opposing political aisle. This is repulsive, and though I will continue to care deeply about the politics and future of this nation, I have grown very weary of this petulance.
Contributing Editor: Michael
Michael is a Junior in college studying Mandarin, Economics and Political Science and plans to go to law school upon attaining a bachelors degree. He can be found on twitter @mcharles42