The case for Neithersideism
I was a reliable Republican voter until 2016. I will vote Democrat for the foreseeable future because they have one thing going for them - haven't tried to overturn an election
I'm trying hard to live the picture. BTW, your freebie guilted me into it. Here I am, a bonified subscriber. Speaking of Performing Monkeys, get to work! MOAR CONTENT. :P
I'll preface my comment with this: I've been accused of being an idealist. With that out of the way here goes...
I'm hearing more and more voices such as yours. I've been a neithersideist for most of my adult life. ( I'll admit I lean libertarian, even in polite company. ) Could it possibly be that our numbers are growing? Or is that too much to hope for? I would be so pleased if we became the majority and did away with partisanship and the unabashed competitiveness of our current political climate. Alas, one can dream...
As always, thank you!
This is why I like Slack Tide !
I hate to go all political on you Matt, but here goes: Sometimes it's fair play for the "civil" right to stick it to the libs.
My long-deceased mentor who converted me from the liberalism, as we now know it, used to opine that whenever liberals wanted to compromise, it was always in favor of their side. For example, in my life compromise on the budget always meant instead of a 10% increase, a 5 % increase. It was never a 5% decrease.
In the Florida instance, it's a little payback to woke corporations who want to stick their noses where they ought not. You'll remember when Major League Baseball took away the all star game from Atlanta over Georgia's changes in voting law. Of course that was noble, even though it screwed a lot of small black businessmen who work in and around the ballpark.
In principle, I'm with Calvin Coolidge: the business of business is business.
While I generally agree that one should conduct public affairs with civility and humility, once in a while it's nice to see the right side win one. Payback is a b**ch. And remember Matt, in this instance, you wrote about it only after "our side" did something.
If only the earth were really flat!
Then the crazy right-half of the Republican party could sail ideologically and militantly off the right edge. And the crazy left-half of the Democrat party could sail ideologically and militantly off the left edge. Neither collection of up-tight absolutists would be seriously missed.
Those of us who then remained, in both parties, could run a pretty decent country debating the really important issues and pragmatically hammering out well-thought-through policies. Imagine if the only issues were to solve the nations problems in the most timely and cost-efficient manor, without calculation as to who gets the credit; and without time wasted hotdogging before cameras.
And just take a moment to fantasize about SCOTUS nominations that were not ideological nuclear war, and the primary issue was the qualifications of the candidate - not who shafted whom 30 years ago. Imagine a world where special interests donations were not allowed, yet anyone could make a tax deductible donation into a common pot that was divided up equally between the top candidates - but no other money could be spent.
There are days when I begin to wonder if John Lennon was onto something.
The trout fishing on the Holston below Cherokee dam has been amazing. Mostly stockies, but a few sizable holdovers. Also, you can MAKE million$ sitting on YOUR ass doing nothing. The secret: Start with billion$!
PJ O’Rourke is smiling ! Think all we can do is keep sane admist all the insanity. Humanity is counting on us ! And we should all being getting paid to do so - this shit is hard work !!
A pox on both their houses.
Wait. That already happened.
I think we can all unite around laughing at Tucker and bromeotherapy. I bet Trump has a fake tan there too.
I've felt myself moving in a more libertarian direction over the past decade or so (I suppose right-libertarian is the correct term), so I get this whole neithersideism. It feels good to lob those rhetorical bombs at the extremes of both sides: AOC's almost religious obsession with collectivism and MTG's bizarre theories (just to name two examples out of a veritable laundry list).
But neithersideism affords the freedom to also say that this Parental Rights bills doesn't seem at all unreasonable, while its presentation is, indeed, yet another example of political theater.
Still, neithersideism is an indication that many of us have just thrown up our hands and said, "Screw it!" I just worry that that's not a good thing, long term. Maybe this is how republics die, in the end. Preston Brooks almost beat Charles Sumner to death on the floor of the Senate in the 19th c., and we're not there yet. That's certainly good.
But an inability to heal some of these cultural rifts, or even the absence of desire to do so, spells trouble.
I dislike both sides so much that I even dislike the main concept of there being two sides. Why not a dozen sides? Or 330 million? Or 7.7 billion? The assumptions underlying our political system are based on the idea of binary choices, but we live in a world of multiple-choice problems and essay questions.
I don’t find I have much in common with the two main political options we’ve got nowadays, but I can’t claim to be non-partisan, since I’ve long disagreed with nearly everything that comes out of the D side, and preferred to vote for the R side, which I’ve never really felt a part of. But as you say, neither of these binary choices is really palatable, perhaps initially for reasons of political ideology, but now for the performance-art characteristics.
I think the underlying problem is that there aren’t any real problems for our political system to solve. And by “real” I mean life-preserving. All the low-hanging fruit has long been picked, and we find the fruit depleted ahead of us as we ascend the tree: Even the just-out-of-reach fruit is gone except for the unappealing specimen hanging there, rotting on the branch.
But the political machinery grinds on relentlessly nonetheless, even after all the fruit has been harvested. Just because that’s what the democratic system is designed to do. So there’s a lot of clanging and banging, and the output is nil at best, or gale-force wind at worst.
None of it is pleasant, rewarding, or even marginally productive. But the show must grind on in spite of that. The performance artists must put on their show. And nary a metaphor shall go unmangled, etc…
Kinda sick of the whole thing. But, gave it a read anyway. All valid points. Although I'm a libertarian type, all for free speech, etc., I gotta side with Florida Ron on this one. Not sure what K-3 kids need to learn about gender issues, or why "age appropriate" instruction is somehow inappropriate. And regarding Mouseketeer Chapek, the dummy pretty much stepped in his own doo-doo. Maybe If he ran the Kingdom in a responsible manner, and kept his nose out of stuff that doesn't concern the Big D, this never would have happened. I would also point out the hypocrisy of those running the Magic Kingdom in expressing their moral outrage over the "discriminatory" Florida law (a highly debatable characterization), while turning a blind eye to the forced labor, genocide, restrictions on personal freedom/press and all the other really objectionable stuff going on in China, just to protect their business interests there. That, I find pretty sickening.
Chris Stirewalt mentioned the Disney flap in connection with answering a reader’s question asking how such a diverse country as the U.S. can thrive when practically no two states can agree about anything. Chris said unless you live in Florida, why would you care about its latest culture war battle. Generally, I think this is sound advice, though I couldn’t resist reading Charles C.W. Cookie’s excellent analysis in NR.
Monkeys everywhere are no doubt outraged at the defamation of their good name vis a vie the motley crew you take to the woodshed here. Their skills, both performative and social - and probably cognitive - are light years more advanced than this rogue's gallery of lesser primates. Might want to watch your step there, brother, lest they file a class-action libel suit against you.