Midterms Elections, DePolarization & DemocracyBrian Langis
I’ve been following the US midterms elections, mainly for entertainment purposes. US elections are over the top. Americans are the king of show business. They can take something as mundane as the temperature and make it entertaining. It probably shouldn’t be that way, but it’s entertaining. We just had an election in Quebec. It had to be the most boring election ever. We had a Federal election last year, that was a sleepy affair also. Maybe boring is good. You campaign for a month, then move on other things.
Also it’s been a week since people voted in the midterms and it’s still not done. Are they still counting votes? Anywhere else in the world you know the night off or the day after. Like I said, we had an election last month and I think we knew the winner by 8pm. Same in Brazil.
One big difference between our Canadian-Quebec politics and the US is the degree of polarization. Yes our domestic politics is getting more polarized, but nothing to the extent you see in the US. I think the one big difference I find here is that people don’t identify themselves with a political party. Sure some do, but most people just vote.
While in the US it’s common for people to say I’m a Republican or a Democrat, I don’t know anybody here walking around saying “I’m a New Democrat” (you might vote for the NDP but you don’t identify by that). Some might identify as a separatist, conservative, liberal, or green, but you have more than one option to vote for. Somebody with conservative views has two parties to choose from (Conservative and the People’s Party). Somebody that leans liberal has 3-4 parties to vote for (Liberals, NDP, Bloc, Green). As for myself, I’m more a la carte, I vote all over the place. As for my interest in American politics, it stems from me having lived there and investments.
The polarization of politics is toxic. Going extreme on anything is never good. It’s pretty much shooting poison in the system.
This whole “Left” vs “Right” is stupid. Everything that the Right says about the Left, they are right. Everything that the Left says about the Right, they are right too. They are correct about each other. The Left is right about Trump. Trump is right about the Left. They are right about pointing out each other’s craziness. There are crazies on both sides.
The “Left” hates the “Right” and the “Right” hates the “Left”. Everyone is in their silos. We don’t trust each other anymore. There’s no conversation. There’s no debate. There’s no exchange of ideas. People are just peddling nonsense.
I live in a democracy. The leader only sometimes reflects my values. My values are not the whole country. I’m a small part of this country. Alberta and Quebec will never share politics. Just like Alabama and California won’t. Forget cross-country politics, people don’t even share politics in the same household. Go ahead, try to convince your wife to vote a particular way. The point is if you live in a country where you love the leader everyday, he’s not doing his job. He’s not there to serve just you and to represent only your views. I only agree with a minority of the people normally. The leader needs to be a representative of people’s will. He’s serving the people, the whole country, from tree huggers to pipeline roughnecks.
Politics is the art of compromise. You have to give something up. Everybody does. It’s the only way it works. German leader Otto von Bismarck said, “Politics is the art of the possible.” So compromise seeks the “best possible” solution. It’s hard. It’s tough. You need civility and courage. The answer to the MAGA right shouldn’t be Woke left, and the answer to Woke left shouldn’t be the MAGA right. For democracy to work you have to talk to people you don’t agree with.
Democracy is messy. Changing the country is difficult. Change takes forever. It feels like nothing ever happens. It’s a grind. It’s slow. It’s unsatisfying. It’s ugly. It’s difficult. It’s boring. It’s bureaucratic. But it’s better than the other systems out there. Just ask countries that don’t have it. They want what we have.
Here’s a few suggestions to depolarize politics:
– The art of compromise. You have to give something up.
– Need to take money out of politics. Take corporations out of politics. Take super pac out of politics. That way politicians answer to their citizens, not the donors or whoever finance their campaign.
– Need to stop identifying with a political party. Don’t outsource your thinking. That’s tribalism. Think for yourself. Plus every party has a stupid side, why would you want to identify with that?
– Stop reading news just from sources that tell you what you want to hear. Because that makes you retarded. It keeps you in your world. A small shrinking world. Instead of learning and growing you are becoming retarded. Read different stuff. Learn. Talk to different people. Ask questions. Don’t outsource your thinking to a political party.
– Stop talking about politics. There’s other stuff to talk about.
Everybody is pointing to the Republican’s bad performance. But I think the Democrats sucked even more.
The media likes to highlight the crazies running, like Herschel Walker running for a Senate seat. There’s now a runoff election in Georgia and he has a good chance of winning. Walker has repeathly proven himself to be stupid. Herschel Walker is “observantly stupid” as Dave Chapelle said. But that’s beside the point. Herschel Walker’s voters aren’t necessarily stupid. That’s too easy. They are not voting for Walker, they are voting against the Democrats. Just like it’s a mistake to think that every Trump voter likes the guy.
My question is; What does that say about the Democrats? What does that say about the Democrats policies that a joke candidate like Hershel Walker gets 50% of the vote in Georgia? That’s the Democrats’ failure. When a guy like Hershel Walker says certifiable crazy stuff all the time, how can you not get 90% of the vote? That failure is on the Democrats. Who cares about Herschel Walker? It’s not about him at this point. At this point just put anybody up against the Democrats, because it clearly doesn’t matter.
I’m well aware that I’m harsh on Herschel Walker the politician. But Herschel Walker the athlete? I would pick him on my fantasy team any day. Walker is a former superstar running back, Heisman Trophy winner, Olympian, and UFC fighter. He’s a phenomenal freak athlete. But Herschel the politician? No. Fantasy sports. Yes. He’s just in the wrong lane right now.
Instead of reaching out to voters, Democrats have been pushing them out. They shit on Republican voters. They shit on people that voted for Trump. The “basket of deplorables.” They look down on Republican voters. Democrats are condescendant with “this country would be perfect if the stupid people would stop acting so stupid” attitude or “Republicans voters are stupid”. And they can’t stop doing it. And it’s the stupidest thing you can do. You are making half the country hate you. What you are doing is assigning people to the other side. You tell a certain group that you belong to Trump. You push people away. You give him votes. You are turning half the country against you. If you trash somebody, or ridicule them, how are you going to lead? What you have is half the country digging their heels and it’s hard to ever get them back. Why would you piss off half the country? You need to reach out. And this goes for both parties.
The Democrats need to address that crazy left wing, the Woke side. I know I’m bashing the Democrats, but the same arguments can be made about the Republicans. When was the last time the Republicans put forward a policy that was appealing? I don’t even know what the Republican party stands for anymore. There’s no real conservative running. It’s just a shit show.
I always said you get the politicians you deserve. Trump is the result of where we are politically. He’s not the cause. He’s the result of the Left being totally crazy in certain places, so out of touch with the general population. It’s so unattractive that you are pushing people away. If you tell people that men can get pregnant and give birth, and that you will get canceled for not endorsing that, I can see why people would look at a guy like Trump. You have to understand why they voted for him. And it’s not because they are stupid. Trump was the only candidate to ever reach out to them. A large segment of the population feels disaffected, that the rest of the country left them behind, and Trump spoke to them. Even though Trump is full of shit, and they know it, Trump became their guy, because he made them feel important.
I mention all of this here to make the point, if it needs making, is that you need to reach out. You need to speak to people with different views. As a politician you are supposed to convince people to come to your side. Not shit on them. You are supposed to say “I’m like you and you are like me more than you understand”. We might not agree on everything or have the same values, but we have the same concerns (economy, education, healthcare, security etc…) We can work together to make this country better. The way out of this mess is compromise. Both sides need to give up something. We need to come together.