Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Politics is picking fights in (socially) acceptable way

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 15, 2023)

Politics seems to appeal to people who are addicted to drama. How else can you explain two years of hand-wringing over an insurrection that never happened? Or the recent election disasters and fights over which side are the real fascists? Those flames are fanned by people who don't want the drama to end.

Political drama turned a new cold virus into a worldwide histrionic meltdown, undermining trust in medicine and related scientific fields. It was a goldmine of drama. Can the lost trust ever be regained? Not unless science and medicine can be separated from politics.

In truth, you could point to just about anything which happens in the political realm and see how it is drama for the fans of politics. Like a drug for an addict.

People like drama-- at least, most do. This is fine within limits and in the right circumstances, such as in fiction. Fictional stories without any drama would be boring and pointless. Many people take this desire for drama with them into the real world, which makes things worse for everyone in the long run. People who crave drama prefer politics over cooperation.

I've watched people pick unnecessary fights. They could have walked away at any time and no one would have thought anything about it. They chose to fight. They pick fights because they want drama. Politics is the act of picking fights in a socially acceptable way, by people who feel they are above fighting physically. Socially acceptable to some people; not to me.

If you want excitement and drama, don't pick fights, learn to skydive, instead. As long as you don't fall on someone, your hunger for thrills won't harm others. The wrong way to get more drama in your life is to impose your will on others. Taking hostages or using political power is exciting, but harmful to society because individuals are harmed. Politics is antisocial.

It doesn't matter if you chase drama democratically or by taking control in a coup. A coup might seem more dramatic looking back through history, but if elections keep losing credibility among those who feel elections are important, this may change.

Oh, and the fight over who are the real fascists? When you remember that fascism is authoritarian government controlling business through taxes, regulations, and special "public-private partnerships" you see clearly who the fascists are. This is why the fascists would like to redefine "fascism" as something else.
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