It is clear that one of the most successful tools that the Democrats use to get their way is “politicization” of everything; race, abortion, immigration reform, gay rights, economic policy, foreign policy, etc. When everything becomes political, everything becomes a wedge issue that you can use to divide and conquer. Everything becomes “Us vs Them” and there is no room for compromise or even considering the other side’s point of view.
But one of the most powerful effects of the politicization of everything is that even friendships and socializing have become politicized.
If you live in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, or any major metropolitan area in the USA, you quickly realize that all your friends are self-avowed borderline to radical Leftists. You may not give a hoot about politics, but if you do not chime in with the chorus from time to time you will not be accepted into the group. And God forbid if you disagree with them about anything whatsoever; your social life will be over. Ask odd questions about whether or not Leftist policies of the past really worked as they were supposed to, and you will find yourself alone with no friends, no girlfriend, no one to go to happy hour with, maybe even no job! Who wants that?
It takes a rare and courageous person to stand up to that sort of peer pressure, or perhaps a very foolish one.
It was not always like this. Thirty years ago you could disagree about all sorts of things and still be friends. In fact that was what what made it interesting to talk to people. But not anymore.
So what is to be done? I believe we must fight fire with fire if we want to have any chance of winning. We need only look at the most recent Presidential Campaign to see how powerful and effective the politicization of friendship has been. Obama’s election in 2008 can be written off as a fluke; the people didn’t really know him, and he said everything that everyone wanted to hear. But in 2012 no one can say the electorate was ill-informed. They knew, or at least thought they knew, what Obama was really about, his failures, his unpopular stances, and they voted for him anyway. Because to do otherwise would open themselves up to public ridicule and ostracism from their “friends”.
Compare that with the Romney Campaign and the Conservative movement. Although Romney was not my ideal of a Conservative candidate, he was clearly better than Obama. But many Conservative and Libertarian minded individuals rejected him as not Conservative enough. Why?
I believe the primary reason for this rests with the lack of awareness regarding the importance of the politicization of socializing. Most Democrat voters did not agree with Obama on very much, but they did agree that they were on his side. That is because to do otherwise would be social suicide. Conservatives on the other hand do not seem to have those same social bonds. In fact it seems like most Conservatives do not really like each other very much. And Romney did nothing to help that out. He was smart, well-informed, experienced, and had great ideas… but he did not take the time to get non-Elitist Conservatives to “like” him. He was cold and aloof. People will tolerate a lot of crap from a friend, and Conservatives have shown a greater willingness to set aside political non-conformity than the Leftists. But ultimately if you do not agree 100% with what a candidate has to say, you have to like and trust that candidate to overcome those disagreements. Romney and the Republicans simply failed to make any effort to socialize with other Conservative factions. I guess they just presumed that stupid, redneck, bible-thumping Tea-Baggers would vote for Romney regardless of their level of enthusiasm.
That seems to have been a mistake.
I do not believe it is possible to reverse this politicization of everything. So what to do? The Leftists are very clear in what you need to do to get along: agree with everything they say! It is only ok to be against gay marriage as long as Obama and other Leftist Leaders are against gay marriage. Once the Leaders change their position, you must change yours and fast. The Conservatives do not provide such an easy solution; the Republican insider-elite hate the Tea Party more than the Democrats do; the Neo-Cons hate the Evangelicals, the Paleo-Cons are distrusted by all accused of being moderate or simply out of step, and Libertarians are isolated and alone rejected by all and rejecting all others.
What are we supposed to do? Is there some way we can all just stick together? Can’t we all just get along????