Everything has become politicized. Family, sex, gender, education, sport, economics, art, transportation, religion, climate, water, energy – there’s no part of everyday life that politicians have not sullied and made an issue for identity politics, class politics and party politics. They’ll attach the description “racist” or “sexist” or “partisan” to any subject whatsoever.
The left is as bad as the right, and vice versa. Often, it’s hard to discern where one side starts and the other one ends. The mainstream media, exploiting the one-way structure of their communications model (they talk, we are supposed to listen) cheers on this politicization without debating it. In the end, they become confused. Every day I read the Wall Street Journal. The Front Page, US News and World News sections appear to be written by young reporters with little knowledge of grammar and proper sentence structure, but with an infinite repertoire of anti-Trump diatribes that they seem willing to insert in any paragraph, often at the most inappropriate times. The Opinion section appears to be written by aging neo-cons, eager to invade foreign countries, beef up the US Military with taxpayer dollars, and enlarge government scope in all directions. The combination is confusion between the memes of left and right, and the ability to approve of both positions, but not of any alternative position.
For example, William Galston, a WSJ Opinion Section columnist, identifies those of us who do not identify with Republican and Democratic ideologies as “populists” who “undermine freedom the press, weaken constitutional courts, concentrate power in the executive” (Galston is vociferously anti-Trump), and “marginalize groups of citizens based on ethnicity, religion or national origin”. (WSJ online March 17, 2018.)
In other words, you must be left or right, but you mustn’t be anything else, or take any other positions.
There is a different point of view that’s available. Ignore both left and right, and politics in general. Don’t engage in virtue signaling. If you want to achieve a moral goal, if you want to save the world, if you want to achieve something meaningful, be an entrepreneur. Start a business. Use your powers of empathy to figure out how to help others through a commercial offer that brings them a new and better product or service – a better education, better transportation, better cleaning, better grooming, better content to read and watch. Don’t attempt social engineering or global climate engineering or political revolution or institutional reform.
We need people who can imagine a better future in entrepreneurial terms, not political terms. People who can identify how to serve their customers in a better way, and claim the reward of a financial profit for improving their customers’ lives. We need people who take personal, entrepreneurial and commercial risk because they see opportunity and they believe that they can seize it. We need people who will sacrifice in the present, by saving and investing and building a business, in order to succeed in the future. We need people who accept the verdict of the market, and who thrive on the feedback of those who try their services and provide commentary, positive or negative, that can be used in the responsive process of making improvements and doing better and trying harder.
We do not need politicians and bureaucrats who posture and lie about “public service”. They serve no-one but themselves. They are the ones who politicize everything. Entrepreneurs try their best to see what they can achieve. Politicians try their worst to see what they can get away with. We need people who embrace the economic way, and discard the political way.
Also published on Medium.