I Am a Global Populist

I had to take a break from politics. I wish I could get away from it completely. It is hard at work. There are a lot of very happy people and a lot of very upset people. There are also some people who get it: the votes were counted. The winner won. Life goes on. There will probably be some changes for all of us. Other things will stay the same. It is not the end of times. Trying to predict what’s going to happen, ranting, raving . . . all of this will end, because we all eventually have to get back to keepin’ on keepin’ on.

I do want to kind of figure out what I am. Like most people, I believe in things on both ends of the political spectrum. I believe in letting people make their own decisions. I believe in free trade. I believe in equal acceptance of all people, regardless of race, creed, or gender. I believe that we have moved past an insular society, and that the internet will hasten globalization. I believe that my country had done bad things. I believe that it’s the best country in the world, and that we have a lot to teach as well as learn. I believe in adapting. I believe in the right and the responsibility to defend those I hold dear. I am not a big fan of the Patriot Act, or anything that threatens my freedoms. I believe that George Orwell was prescient when he wrote 1984, and that cameras everywhere are great if you’re looking for photos. Soon you start to realize that the closer we look at things the more contadictory answers there are. If you don’t believe that, take a look at NFL replay. I believe that cameras everywhere become especially bad when you take sides against your government. I believe we have the right to take sides against our goverment, if we feel strongly enough about it. I believe that our founding fathers were pretty smart, and that questioning their ideas or belittling them is unsound. I believe that history repeats, and those who don’t learn from it are doomed to repeat it. I believe in the right to free speech, and I believe that the more that speech bothers me the more it needs to be examined. I believe that people are for the most part good, but that everyone is influenced by their environment.

Our president elect is a populist. He won by telling the people he would give them what they wanted. And I believe in that. I do think we should let the masses decide. However, it becomes important to say who the masses are. Are they the white supremacists? Are they the corporate fat cats? Are they the homosexuals, the Mexicans, or the drug dealers? Are they the bartenders and waitresses? Are they the teachers? Are they the people whose houses and lives are being blown apart somewhere else in the world? Yes. Yes. And yes.

I believe in populism where it relates to the whole. The whole world. Because that is who our future leaders will have to answer to. Sure, you can bomb Iraq and shut them up for a while. You can lock up the blacks. You can starve the Ukranians, and sterilize the Indian poor. But eventually it’s going to come back and bite you in the ass.

Now, it is important to say that, as we move towards globalization, there must be checks and balances for that too. Failure to set a pace and make rules will also result in war and hardship. It is a difficult task. That is why we need strong, intelligent guidance as we move forward. There will always be setbacks and problems, but forcing others to do what we want has repurcussions. Letting laissez-faire work, letting people learn for themselves, has a lot to be said for it. In the long run, it is the quicker path. But, like life, it can also be painful and dangerous.

Of course, if you’re uncomfortable with letting people learn for themselves, you can just go on telling your sons and daughters who they can and can’t date, and how and when they are allowed to have sex. Best of luck with that.

Donald, marginalize anyone you want. Point the finger wherever you want. Build whatever wall you want. You’re the boss. But remember this: life is stronger than you, or anyone. Life finds a way. Learn to make friends with it. Or don’t. We’ll all be watching. And judgement comes in the future.

 

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