As mentioned in a recent update article, this week’s post is an re-share of a previous article that is still tragically relevant.
This piece examines the concept of ‘not talking about politics’. What does it mean for an issue to be political, and when is it OK to talk about these issues?
Another day, another tragedy. Presently, it’s the Las Vegas massacre on my mind, or the recent terrorist attack in Edmonton. But depending when you’re reading this, I have sorry little doubt there will be some fresh new event to use for context. Nothing will be different if we use another example, so it doesn’t really matter anyways. Inevitably, you will be told that “this isn’t the time to get political.”
“Let’s not politicize this.”
“Can’t we just have a day to grieve?”
There are a million ways to say it, but it always boils down to the same idea—“Let’s not go using the government to solve problems…that’s not what they’re for.”
It happens after all the most political events. We are told not to get political, not to examine issues and causes. Just be sad.
Pray…if that’s your thing.
Just…don’t try to do anything about it.
They can’t afford real change. They won’t.
But ‘politics’ is not a dirty word, and must not be treated as such if there is ever to be any real progress in this sad world of ours. To turn any political discussion into a taboo subject is to actively waste the opportunity for learning and growth. Further, to claim that political discourse over a tragedy is disrespectful to the victims is not only unhelpful, it’s pigheadedly ignorant.
If we want to prevent tragedy, we must learn from those that occur, and improve our society to prevent future occurrences. That’s what politics is. Anything else—any claim of respect, or timing, or taboo is obstruction of politics. It isn’t kind-hearted, or even well-intentioned. It’s intellectual dishonesty, and in any such instance, you can be damn sure someone is being well paid to convince you that scoffing at the chance to fix things is somehow the moral high ground.
Yes, this is about informed gun control policies.
At least today.
It could also be about systemic racism.
Or police brutality.
Or climate change.
Or money in politics.
Or dozens of other important debates which have been put off for far too long.
These aren’t inappropriate subjects, and they are absolutely the business of politicians and citizens alike. What they are not, is the business of corporations and lobbyists, and yet those are the only ones who seem effective at turning it into their business—specifically, profit.
Shame on them, and shame on anyone who resorts to such hair-brained, nihilistic diversions as ‘let’s not make this political’.
Avoiding civil discourse creates a gap in our understandings, and feeds the ever-widening divide in our nation, and our world. It is uncouth to discuss who you vote for. It’s provocative to talk about the ecosystem during a hurricane. It begins to feel anti-social to make any attempt to discuss our world, when it should be incumbent upon every citizen to do so.
Sadly, when this happens, it usually quickly devolves into attacks like ‘snowflake’, ‘libtard’, ‘hack’, or ‘radical’. This inevitably kills any drive towards honest engagement, and prevents us from truly exploring our values and examining the facts to dream up a better world.
The truth of the matter is that at the end of the day, just about everything is political—especially if it has the potential to affect another living thing without their direct consent. That may seem like a heavy qualification, but there’s an easy litmus test to use for those of you too jaded to do your own research.
Is a great deal of money being spent to convince you something is none of your business?
If so, it’s probably directly affecting to you, your family, and the world you live in.
So, talk about it.
Scream if need be.
If that fails, act.
Make them hear you.
Leave them no choice.
You still have power—never forget that.
-Brad OH Inc.