Ongoing political reality, updated for 2021.
Cassiel C. MacAvity
At the beginning of 2021, particularly with the current US political gymnastics, definitions based on only right/left and especially republican/democrat have gotten rather irrelevant.
At the beginning of 2021, even more so than ever, politics in the US still remain the matter of basically three general groups rather than two:
--One group is commonly called the right wing, while mainly having a central focus of large scale organized faith---and while granting the distinct clarification for the quite separate personal religious practice and observation done by an individual.
--One group is commonly called the left wing, while mainly having a focus on particular identity.
--And the other and definitely separate group, the one that is clearly neither "right" or "left", is that group with the ongoing focus on how to best achieve the most for the greatest number . . .
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 local "religious" faith of the moment--- and the ongoing demand by every local "right wing" is that everything and everyone is required to follow whatever that faith. 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 of course each faith/right wing faction tends to particularly despise one or more of the others, regardless of what the location.
---The distinct clarification notes 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. A very particular note is that yes, a personal religious practice often can and does have the same mythos and trappings of some large organized faith, however, how and why the personal religious practice supersedes mere faith is because personal practice and conscience always takes precedence over that mere organized dogma of mere faith.
"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 by The Framework, be the framing mechanism The Workers, the Blacks, The Rich, The Socialists, The Gays, The Poor, "The Fascists" depending of course on this week's definition of "The Fascists" and is one for or against, The . . . . . By the way, let us notice all those "white" supremacists who are presented as iconic and as thought leaders, bravely and heroically speaking truth to "The Left", except that yes, basing anything and everything on "white race" and "white identity" is still just a focus on The Identity instead of recognizing that the individual is what one pays attention to and works with. Anyone demanding a focus on "white identity", is therefore utterly quite hard core "left" wing. And of course, again, each identity/left wing faction rather tends to particularly despise one or more of the others, regardless of what the location.
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 . . . except.
"Centrist" does not describe the "other" at all. A "right wing" monofocus on faith is just a belief rather than a metaphoric or political direction. 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".
Instead of "moderate" or "centrist", there is the alternative to the mere unthinking ideology of the faiths and the identities. Instead of mere ideology, that default "other" is and continues to be the ongoing mindset that assesses how things are and asks questions when clarity is needed. Examples of questions likely to be asked by the "other" include:
--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 are you going to get this program or that program paid for?
--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?
--Does any individual have the greatest opportunity to get the most done as decided by that individual?
--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.
In early 2021 there are headlines that discuss seeing if the republican party splits into the Trumps and the Others---Such notes 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 practicing conservatives.
---For that matter, noting these three groups also addresses what various headlines mean by "far left" or "far right". Consider that for the "left"/identity wing view of everyone else, everyone other than "left" is automatically declared to be all the way over to be at least "right" wing. Therefore, according to that view from the identity/"left", the functional conservatives are thus declared to be "right wing", while particularly denying that conservative does not mean "right" wing. Following from that, the actual "right"/faith wing is seen as being off beyond the conservatives, and therefore "must be" the "far" right wing . . . and the reverse is also true anytime that anyone "right" wing claims that there is a "far left" wing, when what is given that label is nothing more than established, generic "left" 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.
So, 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, what happens to the current political gymnastics?
© Cassiel C. MacAvity