Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Where I Lay Down Some Straight Talk On Politics And Offend No One

Yes, it can be done. Watch me.

Election day has finally come and gone, and the people have spoken. This time, individuals won out over huge, moneyed corporate interests, which honestly sort of astonished me, because I thought the Koch Bros. had this thing bought and paid for. Turns out that people on both sides of the aisle largely ignored all that advertising, which is encouraging. We're learning. There is a pretty nice balance at the moment between "red and blue" when you look at the big picture, WHICH IS GOOD. We want that. As much as we act like we hate each other, Liberals/Progressives and Conservatives are forever locked into a symbiotic relationship that CANNOT be broken, or we all die. Dead. As a society, I mean. Not, you know, individually, though I won't rule that out because no one knows what will go down come the Zombie Apocalypse.

There have been  numerous brain studies which illustrate the fundamental differences between the way that a progressive thinker operates and the way that a conservative thinker operates. There are important distinctions, and learning about this is what helped me to love a whole lot more people and welcome more diversity into my own personal "society." Conservatives have a heightened fear-center, which makes them highly resistant to change, while Liberals show high activity in areas that deal with resolving conflict, which makes them more likely to not just wonder what that button does, but to push it and find out. You can see why these two groups NEED each other. This symbiosis goes back to our Paleolithic ancestors and beyond, and is the reason that any of us are even here today. Without the progressives in the tribe, hunter/gatherers would've died out when they depleted their natural resources (kind of like we're doing now, *ahem*), and without conservatives in the tribe, the whole lot may just have been eaten by giant paleolithic bears (laser-bears, if it was in Canada) when they set forth all willy-nilly to find the next place to set up a home.

Conservative or Liberal, you NEED that person on the opposite side of the spectrum. This is why our American system of checks and balances, for the most part, works. Without progressivism, we get nowhere. Without conservatism, we risk going too far too fast. As much as you may think that if only YOUR party were in control of EVERYTHING, that things would be just peachy, that just isn't the case. Without Progressives/Liberals, societal growth would come to a screeching halt, stagnate, and just... die. We MUST progress to succeed and grow. Likewise, without Conservatives to provide some caution and restraint, societal growth would blow up like crazy and before you know it we're all dead by sentient nanobots. Or Daleks. Whatever. Trust me, it's gonna be some whacky liberal scientists who unleash the virus that causes the Zombie Apocalypse, and it's gonna be Conservative corporate interests who fund the research and cover up the results. I know things.

My point is, we NEED each other. All of us. So quitcher bellyachin', and get involved with your neighbor of opposing ideology, and fix stuff together. I'm talking to you, Congress. Well, and everyone else. But mainly Congress.

I would leave you with a seed of an idea: Whatever the MAIN driving force was for you during this election cycle--the thing that really motivated you... take that issue and make it YOURS. Own it. Work for it. On the local level. On the ground. In your own community. Be the change that you want to see in the world. Even small things can make a huge difference, whatever the cause, for or against--green energy, women's & children's issues, ecology, economic reform, health care reform, social security, climate change, lack of poodle representation in local government, WHATEVER. Get involved and make stuff happen. And if you get stuck? Take a look across the aisle, and see what your "enemy" might have to offer. You could surprise everyone.

It's going to be OK.