Sunday, October 5, 2008

Journey to the Center of Nothing by Alison Ross

Journey to the Center of Nothing
One of the things that irks me the most about the American government (besides everything else) is that the Republican-Democrat duopoly enforces a false pernicious mindset among the populace. When you have only two political parties, and especially ones that are more parallel than dissimilar, this engenders the mentality that there are merely two styles of thinking. Naturally, we know the truth is more nuanced than that. We also know that within those two styles of thinking are non-truthful elements - elements born of misshapen logic. For within the socio-political arena, we should always be focused on arriving at unvarnished veracity; anything less compromises our innate integrity as a species.
I won’t go into detail about what elements of each party’s ideology are “right” or “wrong.” Naturally those are subjective principles anyway. I do believe there is truth and non-truth, however, and that non-truth evolves from a severely misguided sense of the world. Sure, non-truth can be bolstered by all manner of justification and rationale, but that doesn’t discount its audacious annihilation of reality. Non-truth fosters flamboyant fantasy worlds that create dangerous “truths” for the adherents of the non-truth, who then impose their arrogant ignorance onto others (an example might be the clinging to religious ideals, which then become translated into policy in our perpetually burgeoning theocratic state).
The worst thing about the two-party duopoly is that it creates a mythical “center.” People start to pick and grab from the grocery store isles of ideals that each party has arranged. So, for example, some may believe in the right to bear arms but also in a woman’s right to choose what to do with her pregnancy. So the person feels as though they are caught squarely in the crossfire of the two disparate ideologies – the gun ownership issue being a Republican or “conservative” one, and the abortion issue being a Democratic or more “liberal” one. In reality, however, both of these issues have been dangerously distilled. Both evolve from the impetus to protect certain rights. The difference between two such rights, of course, is that one is real and one is imaginary. The right to choose to terminate pregnancy streams from a very logical place – we own our bodies, and therefore a fetus is an extension of ourselves, spiritually, and physically. The right to own a gun does not stream from any such logic. Sure, we have the right to protect ourselves, but that precedes the existence of guns, whose purpose is multi-fold anyway.
So, it is indeed dangerous to whittle down such issues to their literal bones. Indeed, the gun issue is a non-issue, and therefore a non-truth. And the abortion issue, in a sense, is a non-issue as well, but has been made an issue by those who feel that a fetus is a person. But at least the abortion issue has certain debatable aspects, such as the perils inherent in terminating a pregnancy beyond a certain term, and so on. But this does not mean that it should be a legislative situation. It should be part of medical policy and that is that.
So anyway, back to the topic at hand – and I am not certain that my above example helped to lucidly illustrate my point or if it further muddied the waters. But my point is that, with or without proper analogy, the “center,” which is the shade of grey between and two seemingly opposing poles of “liberal” and “conservative,” is a mythical hollow place, because the ideologies of liberal and conservative are mythical and hollow as well. Things cannot be so neatly divided into tidy categories, and when they are, this shrouds the truth rather than reveals it.
We need to get BEYOND childishly oversimplified dogma. Ultimate truth is something tangible and palpable and something we must joyously celebrate rather than coweringly fear. The two-party system of the United States evolves from fear of truth, and a withering wish to suppress it, rather than release it into the open in an ebullient fashion. The system, and the mythical center it creates, is a way to lure people into a false feeling of truth-experience, when all they are actually partaking in is a factory-manufactured version of it.

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