|A casual shot almost not taken. |
What came out was something very deep, something that has quickly taken on a meaning of its own.
You know, sometimes I just don't get people. Let me rephrase that; I sometimes don't get people in relations to politics. I honestly don't. I recently saw a post on Tumblr concerning some supporters of Australian Coalition Leader Tony Abbott. The initial premise of the post was a bunch of photo's of some young voters, probably no older then myself, holding up signs stating why they planned to vote for the their country's Liberals. My first reaction was pride regarding the fact that these young people intend to vote, an action that globally has become somewhat of an issue amongst my generation.
However, once I scrolled down on the post I found some comments that truly left me shaking with both disappointment and anger. These individuals, no more then 4 or 5, each commented on how each of these Abbott supporters were, and I quote, "naive and prone to falling for fear-mongering", "an utter know-nothing twat ", "Beyond shallow. Beyond ignorant" and in one case assumed that all these people disliked brown-people. I found that last one quite funny, especially since the first picture of the set was a lovely young lady, who happened to be brown, holding up a sign saying she was going to vote Liberal.
I'm sorry, but there are some people involved with politics who are just plain disgusting and pathetic. Now I'm not going to use this example to attack Labour supporters or Left-wingers in general, because there are those on both sides who are guilty of such talk. It's incredible to read a post coming from a person who supposedly believes in freedom of choice, democracy, free speech, etc, etc, attack someone for exercising basically that, for having an opinion that is different from theirs. It's appalling.
Sadly this characteristic is a common phenomenon across the globe. Now I'm not going to site here an lecture, I'm guilty of this just as you are guilty of this. It's part of being a political supporter, of being partisan and politics in general. It's a characteristic that helps push agendas, gets stuff done and give people a sense of purpose, however at the same time it's a source of gridlock, bitter division and pointless harm. In Canada's case I'll the example of people calling the Prime Minister, or any political leader, a dictator out to subvert democracy, to destroy basic human rights, that sort of thing. They'll change facts, manipulate the news to push their belief, blinded by the fact that these are individuals guilty of the same human complexities and flaws as all of us. People like to think of Stephen Harper as a Nazi, a right-wing extremist, when really he isn't. But you can't convince people of this in the age of the internet. The internet gives ideas, no matter how misconstrued, strength and legitimacy.
Politics is two-fold. First and always foremost it is the engine in which our civilization thrives and functions. It is the system where voices get heard and things get done, or not done. Then of course there is the second side of politics, the game. The game involves attacks, rhetoric, speeches, signs, colours, party's, perception. While some people say they would rather do without the games, they are still essential to the system of politics overall, mostly because as previously stated it allows us the reasons to push or support a specific idea. Without "Us versus Them", what's the point of an election?
Now I'm probably talking out of my ass a little here, maybe I'm completely mistaken and that young lady from the post is ignorant for supporting Tony Abbott. I don't know. What I do know is that maybe it's time we all took a step back, take a deep breath, and get in touch with our inner democracy.