The Left and Right truly are some of the most pathetic people around.
> “Elect Biden and we’ll push him left”
> Biden fills his administration with corporate bootlickers and neocon ghouls
> “Yeah, I believe in social conservatism. That’s why I also support economic arrangements that disproportionately benefit those who are attempting to destroy my way of life”
> way of life gets destroyed
SHOCKING, I know! The Left and Right are nothing more than the soldiers guarding the flanks of the “Overton Window” of politics. Scared into submission by the specter of what the other side might do, they vacillate between “both parties are the same” and “the other party literally wants to destroy you” as their powerful overlords see fit.
Far too many people have developed these kinds of insane attachments to politicians.
Understand something: politicians do not care about you on a personal level (if at all). You only matter to them in so far as you get them into office (and allow them to get vastly more lucrative jobs after office).
Politicians are not your friends. A politician only matters in so far as what they do for you. If they are not making your life better, ditch them. Politicians are strategic actors. They will only begin to change when people start voting them out of office. They will only learn if you punish them.
Fundamentally, the two parties *are* largely the same. Reaganomics and Progressivism are the two wings of Rainbow Neoliberalism. Both value freedom (equality is reducible to freedom) and differ in *who* they grant freedom to and what their *vision* of America is. Reaganomics envisions America as the world’s strip mall. The transformation of citizen into consumer (everyone can be a consumer, hence why Bernie knew open borders was a Koch Brothers proposal), the replacement of Gemeinschaft with Gesellschaft, and the bestowal of freedom onto owners of capital (while everyone else can get f*cked). Progressivism remains more in tune with the traditional vision of America as a “shining city on a hill”, but views this shining city as part of a cosmopolitan world where we are citizens of the globe, and grants freedom to those who accrue the greatest number of points in the oppression olympics.
The two parties are the dual sentinels of the slow decline of America. Either watch your jobs slowly get shipped overseas while predatory finance companies use diversity programs to hide the fact they are destroying the lives of millions, or endure ritual humiliation at the hands of the “oppressed” while companies continue to import cheap labor and jobs keep getting shipped overseas.
Where to Go/What to Do
I have discussed the importance of building alternative institutions, especially local ones, time and time again. I will continue to do so. It is your immediate environment that affects you the most. It is possible, through the construction of local alternative institutions and the engagement with local politics, to build a welcoming locale, even within a hostile country. This is easier for the Left than the Right (libertarian nonsense about “big govt” on the Right neuters them), but it is still possible for the Right to engage with this as well.
At the VERY LEAST, local politics should be *offensive* while national politics may be *defensive*. Voting for the “lesser evil” should only be done at the national level (and *maybe* the state level). Local politics, where turnout is consistently in the 15-33% range (between 1/4 - 1/2 the rate of national elections) and many local positions go uncontested, should be a primary battleground for getting new voices into the game. It takes less money, and can get immediate good done. For Left and Right.
Here, of course, is where the whining and moaning comes in. “Our enemies are too powerful” and “the issue is systemic” are just rationalizations for being a lazy coward. Cthulhu/The Cathedral/Money/Capital is not, itself, sentient. It is an organization of society reproduced by individuals acting according to the prevalent incentive structures of the time. Shockingly, incentive structures can change, and this can be spearheaded by individuals who present a better set of incentive structures to others. Stop rationalizing away your responsibility. Do the f*cking work.