The title of this diary is actually a quote I took from one of my favorite television series, and it was made by a character who was trying to come up with a viable candidate for public office. No, the candidate wasn’t the idiot in question, he was referring to the mentality of forgetting everything you know about a subject and starting over from scratch. It is, in a word, idiotic to attempt such a move. But sometimes we become so frustrated with our situation, or our society, or our political party, that we believe burning it all down and starting over again is a viable alternative. It’s neither viable nor realistic, and the fact is, we’ve got some very real and difficult challenges ahead of us, and escaping into surrealistic thinking is just that: an escape.
A few years ago, in response to a dare, I attended a Socialist meeting. So I’m probably on one of those lists. It was actually pretty interesting, because the main subject being discussed was about the sheer volume of waste created in Capitalist societies. Not just the garbage, but the waste of natural resources, as well. For those who have read some of my diaries, it will come as no surprise that I found this subject intriguing. I even had a few alarming stats of my own to throw into the mix, and received some nods of respect. Very somber crowd.
When the discussion turned towards big agri-business and shipping foodstuffs halfway across the globe, I made some comments about how Londoners during World War 2 had gone back to the soil to augment their diets that were suffering under rationing. And how they eventually produced so much from their tiny backyard gardens that merchants feared for their futures and tried to get officials to take steps to limit these micro-growers.
But instead of receiving nods of respect this time, I got Dark Looks. My whole point was that people can change their habits and do things for themselves, but all these people heard was War. I had somehow stepped on some toes with this story. It was as if, just by mentioning the War in the context of people developing good habits, I was also condoning the War. The tomatoes and cabbage were simply lost in the red roar of otherism.
My whole point with that story was to demonstrate (using an extreme example) something we are all guilty of, to one degree or another, nearly every single day. Trigger words and trigger people. We often rail against the lack of intellectualism in our opponents, yet we still place form over substance more often than not. Yes, I’m talking to Democrats, and yes, I’m talking to progressives. We have allowed subjective otherism to creep in and take hold, and our mission has suffered for it. That’s right, unless you’ve forgotten, we have a mission to seek out, develop, and advocate for public policies that will ensure a better future for all of us. Electing candidates is part of that, but only part. Now let me tell you what isn’t part of our mission.
It isn’t part of our mission to tear the Democratic Party in half. It isn’t part of our mission to divide and conquer. That’s the GOP’s mission. It isn’t part of our mission to viciously attack someone in an effort to bring him or her down, and it isn’t part of our mission to use our power to get rid of some Democrats who have worked hard and replace them with others.
Now, it may be assumed by some that because I'm not "in the know", I don't fully understand the scope and ramifications of this struggle. Well, I understand enough. I understand enough to know there is no moral high ground in this battle, that controlling resources has become more important than solving the myriad problems that have descended on the people of our state. And when I see the despair voiced by some over the lack of fundraising dollars flowing in, the first response that pops into my mind is, "What the hell do you expect?"
You want to know why groups like those Socialists hold no threat or promise for our country? Not because of the dominating influence of the two-party system, or because the fat-cats are in control and won't let it happen. Those elements are in play, but they're tangential to this particular discussion. The real reason is because groups like that are polarized to the point of extremism. Here are some other words that go hand-in-hand with extremism: marginalized and powerless.
As long as this rift in the North Carolina Democratic Party continues, which has lately taken on some very extremist characteristics, our party will continue to deteriorate, inching closer to the marginalized and powerless category. And you know who's really going to suffer? Several million North Carolina families, that's who.