Dear Friends: Politics

Vaibhav Sharma


May 06, 2024

Dear Friends: Politics

Do you think any politician deserves our blind loyalty? I don’t believe even our closest family or friends warrant that level of devotion. As humans, we are deeply flawed, and our understanding of someone’s true motivations is greatly diminished in parasocial relationships, such as those with celebrities, influencers, or politicians. In my opinion, we need not defend every policy decision made by our preferred party, nor should we oppose every action taken by the opposing party.

While I would like to see people behave with more compassion, kindness, and selflessness, I believe we should approach political allegiances rationally and objectively. Rather than aligning ourselves rigidly with a specific ideology, we ought to evaluate each individual step or policy a party takes based on its potential benefits or detriments to society and ourselves. Our voices should be raised in support or opposition accordingly, disassociated from partisan loyalties.

The greatest advantage of this centrist approach is that it prevents others from exploiting our egos and conditioning us to blindly defend every action taken by “our” party. We avoid the trap of grasping at straws to justify misguided policies, and conversely, we remain open to acknowledging positive steps taken by the opposition, rather than reflexively opposing them due to partisan prejudice. As the adage goes,

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

We must accept that no policy will ever please everyone.

Political parties derive much of their strength from unity, making them more resilient to hypocrisy and doublespeak by attributing such failings to a few “bad apples.” This deflection becomes far more difficult on an individual level; the moment we begin parroting or defending a party’s contradictions, we have surrendered our autonomy to their programming. Likewise, alienating loved ones over their support for an opposing party is to surrender our personal unity – our greatest source of strength.

It is reasonable to distance ourselves from toxic individuals or those engaged in heinous activities. However, cutting ties with others solely over their political affiliations seems misguided and counterproductive. We must acknowledge that, for better or worse, others will never share our precise intellectual and emotional perspectives. Our priorities will inevitably diverge to some degree, no matter how reasoned our arguments are.

While we can endeavour to broaden others’ considerations, we will never convince everyone of our viewpoint. Alienating and dehumanizing loved ones through tribalism merely enables politicians to “divide and rule” according to their interests, not ours. History has shown the peril of such divisions; we must resist them at all costs.

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