Instead of just ignoring the subject, somehow I feel it would be better if I could just solve everything in a blog post and we could all move on with our lives.
So here it is.
For all our sakes, I hope it's good.
Political positions are broadly categorised as Right-wing (conservative, traditional and generally religious), and Left-wing (liberal, forward thinking, and generally better educated).
(The term liberal should not be confused with the Australian Liberal Party, who are not liberal. Fantastic.)
For the past five hundred years society has been moving left.
Who wanted to stop burning witches? The left.
Who wanted to end slavery? The left.
Who wanted to create a list of human rights? The left.
Who wanted the same set of laws to apply to the rich and the poor? The left.
Who wanted (wants) gender racial and sexuality equality? The left.
The reason that older people are broadly categorised as holding right-wing, conservative views (a woman's place is the kitchen, homosexuals are evil, non-Caucasians are inferior) is that their view of the world was once the established position (or even seen as Left-wing) but society is moving to the left, and over time the perspective passes from the Left to the Right.
The scale doesn't really stretch either, it seems to stay fairly uniform.
A long time ago it was normal to blame your problems on a local woman whom you assume is a witch and proceed to slaughter. The liberal, educated advocates of the time eventually create an opposition to the killing of people accused of witchcraft. Many years pass and witch-killing is viewed as an outdated, inhumane practice based on malicious ignorance. At this point if anyone advocates it they're an extreme minority and would be considered a part of a cult.
The same thing happened with slavery. It was normal, then there was opposition, then it was partially outlawed, then completely outlawed, then it was viewed as completely inhumane, and a shameful example of the ignorance of the past.
Nowadays the political Right no longer advocates witch-burning or slavery, but they do want to deny rights to homosexuals. Once this view was completely standard, then it was opposed by the Left. At this point we're watching the issue tip from Centre to Right, and then it will pass from Right to cult.
Eventually the only people who will advocating persecuting homosexuals will be the same maniacs who currently advocate witch-burning and slavery.
Society moves to the left.
People politically Left are currently advocating the paths that society will go on to take:
We will use more sustainable energy.
We will take more responsibility in protecting the environment.
We will stop treating the third world like our slaves.
We will not unjustly discriminate based on race, gender or sexuality.
The views of the political Right will be moving as well, always to the left, always at the same pace. Left and Right are heading into the future together, it's just that one is up the front, charting a course, and the other is dragging up the rear, complaining.
This is politics.
If you're reading my blog it's very likely that you're a young person intelligent enough to hold liberal views about race, gender and sexuality. But what about when we're old? How can we be sure that we won't be future conservatives, burdening our society with irrational prejudices?
It would be ridiculous to imagine that in all of the past and future of human society, we will be the only ones with the objectively correct position. We will have to always challenge ourselves to confront any irrational stow-a-ways in our politics.
People these days are wearing short shorts. Some of them are young, some are old and some of them are overweight. It's generally held as acceptable in social situations to describe those who reveal large amounts of skin to be offensive or gross. But there's really no rational basis for this criticism.
What is the difference between you objecting to a fat person in a tube-top, and an old person objecting to a relationship between two men? Both objections are based on a personal evaluation of what is socially acceptable and unacceptable. But society is always changing (moving left, as I may have mentioned) so if you rely on your evaluations without challenging them you will eventually be opposed to the younger equivalent of yourself.
The same thing applies to personal feelings about:
- public displays of affection - (even to the point of actual sex in public - what is your argument against this?)
- extending human rights to other animals - (is eating a cow so different to eating a human?)
- non-procreational incest - (when love is already separate from procreation, how would you argue against this?)
- not allowing some people to be born wealthier than others - (how can we say that all people are born equal, and then accept that millions of children will die from poverty?)
- love or sex with objects or other species - (as long as the issues of consent can be met)
The point is, you may feel that these things are wrong, and this makes sense, because that is the current views of normal people in society. But as society changes, if an individual is not willing to accept that their views are not objective, it's likely that they will be the next generation of people who don't want to allow gay people to marry, or women to be CEOs, or people to be free from slavery.
Just sayin' is all.