I’ve Opted Out Of US Politics
Why being apolitical is the best contribution one can make towards humanity
Knowing that many of my readers are American, and knowing that many Americans have the tendency to pigeonhole others into one political party or another (perhaps so that they have easily infer all their other beliefs, without having to put effort into asking about them one-by-one… and understandably so), I figured I’d take some time to elucidate my position.
To put it simply: I do not align with either party in the American mainstream political environment. In the American context, I would describe myself as apolitical, or even anti-political. This is not to say I’m ignorant on all the issues that are popularly discussed in US politics. In fact, it’s only after digging deeply into enough of them that I have realized that doing so is only digging ourselves deeper into a spiritual hole: we focus on said issues so much of he time that we’re missing out on an essential component of life — improving ourselves at the individual level.
Having spent a large part of the past decade outside of my country, I’ve been able to see US political issues from a third-person perspective, and what I’ve discovered is that the more Americans spend time arguing with each other about unsolvable issues at home, the more this dilutes our country’s reputation and influence abroad as a whole. That means; if you go to a country in Asia, people there usually don’t have any interest in taking sides in our partisan battles; to them, both parties represent America, and the more both parties pettily persecute one another endlessly in high-profile events and media, the more they’ll lose respect for our country as a whole — or at least, take us less seriously.
So I have opted out of American politics. I didn’t vote in the last election, and I made it clear why I didn’t vote — I refused to to buy into a toxic ecosystem where one party derives it’s entire self-worth over how effectively it can disparage (in other worlds, “make fun of”) the other side. And after I’d made my argument, the best reason someone gave me for which I should vote is that, if I don’t, I will be unable to complain if the candidate whom I like less wins.
This reasoning is, in a nutshell, the very root of why American politics is unconstructive at best, and absolutely toxic at worst. Our political system has come to a point where either side defines itself solely by being anti-the-other-side. If we had a flawless president who appeased everyone, people would be rioting in the streets for lack of something to complain about. It’s not hard to see why all of this makes for a not-so-effective governmental system, and why our country is experiencing drastic decline economically and socially.
All of this stems from the primal egoic desire we have to be validated and part of a community, and causes us to build our own personal identity on hate and antagonism, because that’s what brings us the most validation. But in reality what we are doing is resisting the fundamental principle of the Universe: that all living beings are connected. By hating half the country for their political views, we are storing unnecessary resentment within ourselves which will fester and cause us to suffer in the long run, even if that suffering is imperceptible now.
If I have to classify myself at all, I’d say I’m a humanist, because I believe in the potential of all people on this planet, no matter what country they are from or what political party they align with, to achieve inner fulfillment and happiness. Whatever other political systems might enable people to realize that potential, then, are systems which I might be willing to support. Currently, neither side in the US is bringing us in this direction, and so I look for my inspiration abroad. Maybe you’d join me in doing the same, if you are sick of hating or resenting your fellow humans, and are ready to embrace Oneness.