Friday, March 3, 2017

Politics as Secular Religion: Special "Understanding Liberal Democrats" Edition

I made two comments on Facebook about liberal Democrats (meaning members of the US's quasi-Democratic Party) that apply to most people in large political parties. Freddie deBoer posted,
Honestly a lot of this liberal Democrat "I fight with the alt-right and I fight with socialists therefore they are the same" delusion comes from this badly misconceived idea of politics as a social circle where you're personally friendly with everyone in your movement, and I'm sorry to say the left isn't great on that score, either.
I said,
You're missing an element: for liberal Democrats, there are sinners and the saved. Why waste time trying to understand the damned?
To continue the analogy, to liberal Democrats, conservatives are infidels and the left are heretics. Heretics are more infuriating than infidels.
Always relevant when discussing the political impulse: Mark Twain's "Corn-pone Opinions"

ETA: If this feels like I'm picking on liberals, that's only the context. No group is exempt. Politics is just a secular religion. You get both from your family and your community in most cases, and in reaction to your family and community in a few. Either way, it's more about what makes you feel good about yourself than what's good for others. Preachers, politicians, and nondenominational scam artists understand this.