Apples, Avocados, and Grapefruit,
Granite, Marble, and Sandstone,
Number cards, Face cards, and a Joker:
Ongoing political reality, updated for 2021.
Cassiel C. MacAvity
At the beginning of 2021, particularly with the current American political gymnastics, definitions based only on right/left, and especially republican/democrat, have become even more irrelevant than ever.
At the beginning of 2021, political orientation in the USA, and elsewhere, still remains the matter of basically three general groups rather than two:
--One group is commonly called the right wing and mainly has a central focus of large scale organized faith.---And A Particular Note reminds that a quite separate personal religious practice and observation, done by an individual, does not mean right wing.
--A second group is commonly called the left wing, while mainly having a focus on a particular permanent identity label.
--And the third and definitely separate group is the one that is clearly neither "right" or "left", is the group that doesn't bother with the mere ideologies of either organized faith or identity. For the third group, the interest and concern is the individual and what the individual may do or not do, and then by extension, what can be done by and for groups of individuals: Basically, the ongoing focus for this third group is on how to best achieve the most for the greatest number . . .
Then again, all that is old news.
Having a look at assorted fruit and noting stones might be more interesting. Specifically, Apples, Avocados, and Grapefruit, and Granite, Marble, and Sandstone. And also Poker, there is poker as well, whether played with a 52 card deck and mebbe a joker, or with a 78 card deck.
Looking at various countries, looking at assorted statements made in the US, "The Right" is the various groups being focused on The Faith ---that is, whichever "religious" faith is in that location at that moment. Right wing is the mullahs in Iran, right wing is the ultra orthodox hassid in Israel, right wing is the imams in Saudi Arabia, right wing is the politically active Hindus in India, right wing is the taliban in Afghanistan, right wing is the hyperevangelical Christians in the US . . . .
And, quite particularly, the ongoing demand by each local "right wing" faction is that everything and everyone is required to follow whatever that faith is, over and instead of any and all other faiths.
And as part of demanding the local faith taking precedence, each faith/right wing faction tends to particularly despise one or many of the other right wing factions, regardless of what the location or orientation.
Getting back to fruit, there actually are a number of varieties of avocado. Then again, regardless of what kind of avocado, an avocado is clearly just an avocado and definitely is not an apple or a grapefruit. In turn, marble can be very showy and get attention, and while being different from sandstone, marble is definitely not granite. And in poker, there is no organized faith card. There are the numbered cards, there are the face cards, there might be a joker, but those are the only cards that are played by anyone at all. Ever.
---That Particular Note reminds that yes, the personal religious practice of An Individual does have a clear difference from some grand massive uniform organized faith which demands universal adherence to "The Dogma". Of this, a personal religious practice often can and does have the same mythos and trappings of some large organized faith, however, the reason that the personal religious practice supersedes mere faith is because the conscience and practice of the individual always takes precedence over that mere organized dogma of mere faith.
---As a further note, for any continuing demands that "faith" and some specific "group" are always required to mean "religion", for any claim that an individual religious practice can not and does not exist separately from some outside defining dogma, go read about Cooperation Circles and maybe create or join one.
In the meantime, again getting back to fruit, no matter what someone else claims, an apple is definitely not an avocado. Certainly, one can point out that an apple is roundIsh, just like an avocado is roundIsh, but that still is not going to make an apple be an avocado. Likewise, marble does get used for a lot of statues and decorative work, but granite is definitely harder than marble. And in poker, the dealer is one individual, and each of the players are individuals, and each player and the deal reach play their own individual hands of cards.
"The Left" is the various groups being focused on The Identity---where according to "The Identity", one is never a unique individual. Instead, rather, one is always, forever, and perpetually defined, trapped, and grouped into "The Identity Box", where the label on that box might be "The Workers", "The Blacks", "The Elves", "The Literate", "The Fascists" depending of course on this week's definition of "The Fascists" and is one for or against, "The Poor", "The Gays", "The Wizzard and The UU Staff Who Use Magic", "The Socialists", "The Rich", "The [ insert Target Identity Box here ]" . . . . . Of course, as one such example of a mere identity box, being identity focused and "left wing" also does include any and all "white" supremacists, especially when the "supremacist" claims to be "iconic" and being a "thought leader", who demands to be admired for "bravely and heroically speaking truth to The Left". Yes, basing anything and everything on "white race" and "white identity" is still just being fixated on The Identity Box, is still very much as identically "left" wing as any other focus on identity.
And, quite particularly, the ongoing demand by each local "left wing" faction is that everything and everyone is required to be grouped in whatever a particular identity box is, with some declared particular box being required to take precedence over and instead of any and all other identity boxes.
And as part of demanding the preferred identity taking precedence, each identity/left wing faction rather tends to particularly despise one or many of the other left wing factions, regardless of what the location or orientation.
For those demanding that their variety of grapefruit juice is required for everyone, and is the only and supreme grapefruit juice, yes, grapefruit juice does indeed exist and can be perfectly fine . . . . and of course the reality is that on grocery store shelves, there is far more orange juice and apple juice. In turn, sandstone can be very decorative and relatively easily worked on and with, but sandstone is clearly not marble and definitely not granite. And still in poker, there is no identity card. There are the numbered cards, there are the face cards, there might be a joker, but those are the only cards that are played by anyone at all. Ever.
Now, when looking at that "Other" group that is not faith based or identity based, there are lots of claims of "centrist" and "moderate" politics, of being "pragmatic" . . . except.
"Centrist" does not describe the unique individual focused "other" at all. A "right wing" monofocus on faith is not a metaphoric or political direction. The "right wing" monofocus on faith is just a belief. A "left wing" monofocus on identity is also only a belief and also provides no direction. In both cases, being neither right wing or left wing isn't being in the center, because there is no particular directional center to be at.
"Moderate" is also completely useless as a political label. When the individual is very clearly and emphatically something other than "right" or "left", that individual is also clearly anything other than "moderate".
And, of course, there are the times that that the faith and identity groups complain about the "other" being "pragmatic" instead of following the "correct" ideology. In all such cases "pragmatic" is the euphemism preferred by the faith and identity groups, instead of more transparent words like accurate and successful.
Instead of "moderate", "centrist", "pragmatic", the third group simply keeps being the alternative to the mere unthinking ideology of the faiths and the identities. Because that mere box labeling ideology is irrelevant, the default "other" takes each individual as an individual. One only aggregates from there, as needed, to best get things done for and by that aggregate of individuals. To Get Something Done, As Needed, is the issue. What is an individual trying to do, at a particular moment? What does an individual need to do, at a particular moment? For someone with an identity box label of Has Green Skin, what is the greenskin method of brushing one's teeth? For the child of a congregation leader of Mithra, whose grandparents went to faith meetings for Cthulhu and Baal, what is the faith based method for writing with a pen or pencil or typing on a keyboard?
The basic fact of being a unique individual among all other unique individuals thus drives the ongoing mindset that assesses how things are for one person and for all people, and asks questions when clarity is needed. Examples of questions likely to be asked by an individual among other individuals include:
--How are you going to get this program or that program paid for?
--Does any and every individual have the greatest opportunity to get the most done as decided by that individual?
--How are you going to best enable the greatest number of people, regardless of claimed particular identity or faith or complete lack of any particular faith or declared identity?
--When something does need to change, how do you plan to do that?
--How do you plan to conserve and preserve the greatest amount of overall unity of the greatest number of unique individuals?
--Does something need to change?
--How are you going to ensure that all the details work well and stay in place?
--Can you show us facts, rather than virtuously wave someone's dogma and mere idealism?
Given such a demand to see the details so that they can be discussed and debated, given having an actual Conservative practice and approach, such does make the third group, far more than the mere "right" wing, the actual functioning conservatives.
For those who are Conservative, those who focus on Show Me All The Details For Everyone, this is not avocado toast or trying to fit a grapefruit into an orange juice squeezer. Instead, one remembers being the apple of one's eye, one remembers that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, one is as American as apple pie. One notes granite as being as stone for building with, one notes granite regularly being the underlying bedrock that everything else rests on and thus relies upon. And in poker, when a hand of cards is dealt, the only cards available are the number cards, the face cards, and mebbe a joker.
In early 2021 there are headlines that discuss seeing if the republican party splits into the Trumps and the Others---And an obvious note is that anything based on demanding idealism isn't going to be conservative. There are headlines that comment on Biden being "moderate", so he will have to watch out for that idealism of the "left wing". References to republican/democrat have already become rather irrelevant given groups in Congress such as The Problem Solvers Caucus and The Tuesday Group and The Blue Dog Coalition. Yes, the political parties do continue to exist, but when the party references and comments about "bipartisan" get dropped, the result is indeed the faith/"right wing" group off in one direction, the identity/"left wing" group off in a different direction, with the "bipartisan" group being the single and unified group of actual practicing conservatives.
No amount of twit barrages and press announcements are going to make an apple into an avocado or a grapefruit. Yes, there is a good deal of sandstone and marble about, and then there is granite. And in poker, one will continue to play using the 52 or 78 cards of a standard card deck.
---For that matter, noting these three groups also addresses what various headlines mean by "far left" or "far right"---When the only choices are Exe, Wye, or Zee, there is no way to be "Far Exe", "Far Wye" does not exist, and one is Zee or is NotZee and can not be "Far Zee". For any and all claims that "Far Something" can or even does still exist in political discussion, consider the "right"/faith wing view of everyone else:
[ faith "right" group ] <<---------->> [ Conservative ] <<---------->> [ identity "left" group ]
For the "right", everyone other than "right" is automatically declared to be all the way over to be at least "left" wing. Therefore, according to that view from the faith/"right", all actual conservatives are thus particularly declared to be "left wing". Following from that, the actual "left"/identity wing is seen as being off beyond the conservatives, and therefore "must be" the "far" left wing. And, in turn, the reverse is also declared anytime that anyone "left" wing claims that there is a "far right" wing, when what is given that label is nothing more than established, generic, only "right" wing.
The actual reality remains that extremist is just extremist, regardless of whether faith oriented extremist or identity oriented extremist. When one takes out the orientational political posturing, one does reduce down to only the three groups of the conservatives as contrasting with the faiths and the identities.
Because an apple is not a grapefruit, no amount of political posturing is going to make an apple be another avocado instead: There is no such political orientation called "Far avocado". There is no such political position as "Far marble". In poker, there is no such concept as The roll of the cards.
Because an apple is not an avocado, no amount of political posturing is going to make an apple be another grapefruit instead: There is no such political orientation called "Far grapefruit". There is no such political position as "Far sandstone". In poker, there is no such thing as selecting what gaming piece each player will use.
So, with the ongoing political reality, let us note the further general question:
Given all of the above, when everyone frames questions and discussions in the form of the three political groups of the "faiths", the "identities", and the Conservatives, how does that outline and adjust the current political gymnastics?
© Cassiel C. MacAvity