I was thirteen years old when I sat in a basement auditorium the first time I learned what the P.L.O. was. During videos that today would seem ancient in terms of quality, I saw men with machine guns hiding behind kids like me, as they fired across and into Israel’s border. From that day forward, my politics regarding Israel was formed.
My father was an officer in the military and thought the use of guns for domestic protection was ignorant and insane. He passed down to me his rational that the most dangerous thing you could ever do is introduce a gun into the home. Weeks after I saw the video about the P.L.O., my cousin, just a half decade older than I was, would be shot and killed in what some described as an accident, others a suicide and even more still said was a murder. What I knew for sure, was it was a gun that killed him. It was also a gun that the P.L.O. used, and it was children in both cases who were the innocent victims.
Depending on the political party you identify with, your politics paint the picture frame of your perspectives. Our politics function as our favorite sports teams. We hate the dirty player unless they play for us. We hate the tough defender unless they are shouting down for our beliefs. We put aside all rationale in defense of those three little letters, DEM or GOP. Our politics are the lens we use to form our judgments and this is dangerous.
The media doesn’t want to see this change as the debate between the two political establishments drive their finances. As politics stray more and more from decency, otherwise sane and rational people double-down on issues that are the farthest thing from sane and rationale. We’ve lost the ability to step back and see the simple and obvious. The Supreme Court recently ruled that President Trump (R, NY) cannot block people on Twitter. This is seen as a victory for Democrats. However, when Representative Keith Ellison (D, MN) does the same to his constituents from Minnesota for his own reasons, Democrats support it because Ellison supports their identity through politics. Both men are equally wrong and unfit for their positions to serve the public by this single action alone. The action is an exercise of control and power, the opposite of what we need in public servants.
The list of hypocrisy in American polity goes on forever. How can Democrats who take an anti-gun stance, support Palestinians who use guns and children as human shields against Israel? Just recently a Palestinian medic was killed by Israeli forces. (Israel Defense Forces allege “Palestinian militants had attacked troops with gunfire and a grenade, and had returned fire in accordance with the open-fire regulations.” However, Palestinian agencies and human rights organizations say the medic was clearly wearing a white coat distinguishing her as a medic worker and was targetted by Israeli snipers). My first thought was that the gun fighting shouldn’t have been going on in the first place. However, its impossible for us to see these truths as long as we are frozen in identity politics. A system that extinguishes the use of identity politics could function as a tournament where officials are allowed to openly discuss issues without the trappings of powerful political parties. There could be a Northeast region, Southwest region, North region, etc., with a popular vote to determine the winner, until we are left with two challengers and a national vote.
Maybe if advertisers are willing to put enough money behind it, our capitalism will allow it to happen, and America won’t be destroyed by identity politics.