Let’s talk politics real quick. I don’t want to get into candidate positions too much if I can avoid it, but the political agenda is an aspect of American society that ebbs and flows. By ebbs and flows, I mean that it shifts from idea to idea, but stays relatively the same over time.
The three hot button issues I can think of are abortion, gun control, and discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. This current political year has added wealth inequality as a major subject, but as we turn toward the general election we see that the reality is that that shift has been put off a bit. Seriously, ever since Hilary clinched the Democratic nomination (or as Bernie supporters will point out, “clinched” due to voter fraud, which is a wholly different conversation). Suddenly the wealth conversation has been put on the back burner. Certainly, this is partially due to the Orlando shooting, but we shouldn’t let one tragedy cloud all our priorities.
So why are those three issues recursive? Well, mostly because it’s a split between strict and loose interpretations of things. By strict I mean black and white points of view—things are this way and not this way, etc. This problem has been emphasized by certain orange candidates lately with the immigration of Muslims, which speaks to the larger discussion about racial inequality. Of course, this issue is multi fold, so this gross oversimplification is an example of faulty logic, but hey, many people aren’t willing to look at the world that closely.
Strict and loose are usually synonymous with conservative and liberal, respectively, and the reason we return to these issues is that they are points that are highly contested. For whatever reason, the vast levels of wealth inequality which effect both groups is kept silent often. Which to me indicates that it is the real problem. Certainly, injustices by gun control, abortion/women’s rights, and discrimination (all of which can be interpreted in multiple ways, depending on how you lean in the political spectrum), are all important, but they really are symptoms of a greater problem—mistreatment. If we all felt more content with life, we wouldn’t feel the need to lash out, or attack our enemies. Now, that’s a utopian world view, that everyone could be happy, but in assuming it is utopian and therefore impossible, we negate the idea that a greater portion of people could be happier.
I think the idea of democratic socialism is something people are afraid of because all they here is “the end of America” as opposed to “how to make people live better lives.” Which is a lazy view, and if this is your perspective I indulge you to actually look at the implementation of socialism in other countries, and see how much happier and more prosperous their average citizen is in comparison to the American average, our “standard” if you like. Not the white media standard, but the real standard. The whole idea of socialism is to make more people happy, or at least happier. Because when people feel content, they don’t feel the same need to lash out. Sure, some times things aren’t always good—a person cheats on you, you got in a fight with your parents, and so on. But at least you don’t have to worry about not having the money to feed your children, or choose between raising a newborn and making the rent payment.
I’m not sure how I got to socialism…Oh yeah! Hot button issues. See, these are issues that have been recurring in the political spectrum for decades. And not that much has changed in reality. Sure, we have made big strides with homosexual equality, but gays still get denied cakes for weddings. And maybe it’s just morally obscure people, but I think that we are just not content. Rather than embrace one another, we push those who don’t match who we are exactly to the side.