There was a time when the words left and right simply referred to sides of the body/directions/whatever you want to call it. The simpler times when those words had no political connotations to me; I still remember thinking “what do they mean by right wing?” Ah the age of innocence.
These days I hear left and immediately think of liberal democrats, and when I hear right my mind goes straight to conservative republicans. I am not even American. Nowadays, even if you are under a rock, it is impossible to miss the constant haranguing between the two sides. The friction between the two has exploded in a new dimension thanks to the volatile nature of social media. One simply cannot turn a corner on the twitter streets without running into a heated debate between the two sides, each one oblivious to anything else other than the take-down of the other; a real case of elephants fighting without giving a damn about the grass.
Conservatives lose right off the gate, just by virtue of their archaic, outdated, often hateful views. Logically speaking, it seems that the liberals are on the right (ha) side of the argument, and it would be expected for all sensible people to be on the left.
Now even the liberals are looking crazy; not because conservatives have become more progressive, but because the so-called progressives are increasingly becoming the thing they despise. There will always be a problem when people have to choose between one or the other; even more of a problem when one side has been designated the only valid choice.The problem is that when a side is automatically considered as good, it can get away with a lot more bad. People on that side can justify evil because they are the good guys.
This gives rise to a unique type of hypocrisy that liberals denounce in others but ignore in themselves. There is nothing that is inherently and objectively good or bad anymore; the determination of what is good and what is bad depends largely on who is committing it. Attacking a person in a restaurant is wrong, unless they are wearing a MAGA hat.
It seems to me that a huge proportion of liberals are simply conservative rejects; i.e. people with conservative values who would be right wing if it were not for the fact that conservatives hate them. All minorities are automatically collectively covered under the liberal umbrella without any regard for the individual diversity within these groups. All that is takes to be a liberal these days is for conservatives to not fuck with you.
For example, all Muslims in the West are automatically liberals which is hilarious because Islam like most religions is inherently conservative. Muslim countries have never been accused of being liberal, but here in the West Muslims are on the Left, why? Because conservatives are largely seen as Islamophobic, and any enemy of the conservatives is automatically a liberal. So many minorities believe the same things that conservatives do; they are against women rights, against abortion, against homosexuality; hell a lot of them would be against immigration were it not for the fact that they themselves are immigrants.
The most interesting thing about this is just how similar the two factions are, and how oblivious they are to this fact. Left and Right are two sides of the same coin; they seem different but in actuality almost identical. Both sides have their prejudices, just towards different groups.
Liberals react the same way conservatives do, just to different people depending on if the person is conservative or liberal. Both parties love and hate free speech; depending on what the speech is about and the person talking. Overwhelmingly, the liberal left have regressed into being hysterical attention seekers, propped up by their self righteousness. Liberals have a higher sense of self righteousness which is why they feel justified in doing things they otherwise condemn conservatives for. They are the good guys, so it is okay. Nowhere is this more clear than on twitter.
Liberals laugh at conservatives for their silly antics; burning your shoes to protest Kaepernick? Really? Then liberals turn around and scream for a boycott of Goya because the CEO supports Trump (See also Soul Cycle). Conservatives on the other hand do not understand why the left would want to ban Goya, but were completely fine with people burning up their shoes. Each side ignores the log of wood in their own eye to obsessively focus on the speck of dust in their other’s eye.
Social media is a constant tussle between juveniles; silly children throwing temper tantrums without ceasing. Why is it hard to say I personally do not like the CEO’s comments and I will not support this brand anymore? Why does it have to become a general boycott? Now any famous person who even appears to be using Goya products will be accused of Nazism and will be cancelled. Same with Soul Cycle, all the libbys made a show of canceling their membership. Will and Grace even went as far as demanding a list be made of all people attending a Trump event so they can be collectively boycotted.
Everything is so political now, or perhaps it has always been this way. With social media, it is easy to believe that every outrage is justified. However as time goes on, I realise that a thousand uninformed idiots screaming is still a thousand uninformed idiots screaming. Sometimes mass hysteria just means a lot of idiots are shrieking about the same thing.
Liberals and conservatives alike (Liberals more so) seek constant validation from everything and everyone; it is not enough for them to think one way, everyone else must as well. Every headline, tweet, opinion, article that does not reinforce their beliefs is cause for outrage. Likewise, every headline, tweet, opinion, article that supports their opinions is hailed as the greatest thing ever. It is confirmation bias at its finest.
Nowadays it seems people don’t take the time to figure things out or reach their own conclusions, everyone is just desperate to toe the line and to be seen doing so. Liberals simply regurgitate the acceptable opinion, dispense the necessary outrage as need be. Liberals move as a collective, any one who slightly deviates is struck down. There is only one acceptable opinion and that is the opinion of the group. People of yesteryears fought for free speech; people of nowadays are actively advocating for censorship.
The world these days does not allow for much independent thinking. I’m not even referring to political correctness; just plain thinking for oneself. There is lot of emphasis on diversity among the liberals- diversity across race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ableness, eye colour and so on; but there is a pushback against diversity of thought. Increasingly people bury their real thoughts and opinions in layers of acceptable public opinion, offering just a little glimpse into their minds- small enough that is not overriding the acceptable liberal view and risking banishment. Opinions are prefaced with disclaimers and apologies until they are watered down into irrelevance, and still a retraction and apology will inevitably have to be offered.
It is so hard to know what people really believe because everyone is too afraid to let it show. Occasionally their mask slips because it is difficult to keep up the act forever. It must be exhausting to constantly have to say the right thing, knowing that people are just waiting to cut you down for any slip. And you will inevitably slip. It is fascinating to see the liberal caucus devour itself; woke people who have joined in canceling others now find themselves on the guillotine. Rinse and repeat.
In 2019 the New York Times was a liberal darling with its constant attacks on Trump until the five word headline that turned it from liberal darling to promoter of white supremacy in one fell swoop. But such is the plight of everyone who panders to liberal logic- you are always one breath away from being banished into nothingness. You can constantly on a thin sheet of ice which is melting quick (climate change!). So you have these people constantly doing the hokey pokey to fit in, hoping today is not the day they are cancelled.
Now it is okay to be miffed off by something we don’t agree with, but the hysteria is always so performative. There is just no sense of proportion whatever, instead it is all about mindless outrage. Immediately something happens to offend the liberals, everyone (and their PR team) must immediately unleash well crafted missiles. Everyone has to be seen reacting otherwise you are marked absent on the register and that will for sure come back to bite.
A lot of these people are just following a script and saying things fellow liberals want to hear. And how do we know? Oh the greatest validator of our times, the Nielsen ratings of the social media age- likes and retweets. A white person tweets “Oh gawsh I hate being white I would offer you my first white born child as atonement for the evils whites have commited but I already got sterilised to avoid infecting the world with more white people boohoo“. 23k retweets 100k likes. Another white liberal has saved the day.
One consequence of this politically motivated outrage means that one cares about the victims. For an issue to matter or be worthy of outrage, it has to be able to be politicised which means liberals and conservatives alike must be able to use it as an opportunity to virtue signal or denounce their opposition.
A story I always reference is that of 8 year old Jazmine Barnes. In January 2019 news broke (by none other than Shaun King, affectionately referred to as “Talcum X”) that a little girl was shot dead in the parking lot. Before even reading about the story, by virtue of who the messenger is we can already piece together details of the case. The little girl, was Black, and the alleged shooter was a “white man with blue eyes and a beard in a red pickup truck.” As expected twitter was lit up with outrage. Everyone raged about racism and the evil that is white men, white liberals were denouncing their Whiteness. Jazmine Barnes was the trending topic, the new hashtag. Shaun King was in his element, firing off post after post to show his dedication to
getting the reward money capturing the attacker.
Then it happened; it turned out Jazmine was not shot at by a white man with blue eyes in a red pickup truck at all, but by two Black men. And just like that interest in this little girl fizzled out so quickly. People who were calling for the head of the white man with blue eyes in a red pickup truck suddenly did not tweet anything else about the case. Shaun King went off in search of his next big adventure. Her funeral did not even make the headlines. Now we know if she had in fact been murdered by the white man with blue eyes in a red pick up truck that her funeral would have been a trending topic. He parents would have become activists, Al Sharpton would have given a speech, and Shaun King would have masturbated himself into a coma at all the attention. But alas, it was just a little black girl killed by two black men so there was nothing to see. Interest in her diminshed the minute her death could no longer be politicised and turned into a hashtag. I expected this, but I at least thought that people would continue to pretend to care about her. This case will forever stay with me for this reason. To be so fired up and then just stop caring seemed so strange. Then Jussie Smollet came with his own claim and the outrage started up again. Over and over again.
Before outrage is performed for a crime, both sides checks for the race of the victim and the race of the perpetrator. In short (and I am generalising here), Conservatives only care when the perpetrator is a person of colour, Liberals only care when the perpetrator is not. When a P.O.C/Immigrant commits a crime, conservatives use this to spur on their agenda, tarring everyone with this brush while Liberals plead for rationality and common sense to prevail. When the perp is a white person the same Liberals blame the entire white race and demand for an end to whiteness while conservatives look the other way. If the perpetrator is non-white, then the outrage is suspended and replaced with calls for rationality and unity: we cannot blame everyone for the actions of one, White people kill too.People who called for peace when terrorists murdered a hundred people in Paris now tag all white people responsible, and so on.Surely if you believe a group of people should not be judged by the actions of a few people, then you should believe that either way otherwise you are a hypocrite.
Liberalism still seems more logical and suited to the modern times than conservatism, but social media has revealed the hypocrisy. Liberals and Conservatives are the real life version of that spiderman meme; identical parties calling each other out for things they are both guilty of. The sensibility of liberal values does not mean that all those who identify as liberal are sensible and immune from criticism. In fact those who feel they are on the right (correct) side of argument must hold themselves up to more stringent checks lest they become the very thing they despise. If we agree that liberal values are the only acceptable ones then we must demand that the liberal left be held to higher standards.