I consider myself a liberal person. Yet, I find myself consistently frustrated by those I tend to agree with lately. I can't help but get angry at the gatekeeping I see on the left, which seems to be heavily prevalent among online communities. I just can't wrap my head around how a lot of liberal people go about spreading their political views, usually taking the form of calling anyone who doesn't fully agree with them an idiot. I personally believe this to be a weak strategy. Why not treat those who which we disagree with with respect? I just don't think we're going to change anyone's mind calling them an idiot.
I recently was on the Denton square (I live in the city of Denton, Texas for the uninitiated), where we have a conservative monument. I walked by and saw a few people protesting the monument, and another man counter-protesting them. I'm really into politics and stuff like this, so I decided to inject myself into the situation. At first, the conservative man and the protestors were having a discussion about the monument, trading points, and generally staying civil, which made me happy - but things quickly fell apart. Another protestor arrived and began shouting about monument, which only caused the counter-protestor to shout back. While my personal opinion is that we should take down these monuments, I found no reason to antagonize the man standing up for them. Yes, I found his opinions misguided, but rather than yell at him about it, I tried to speak with him calmly and perhaps change his views, rather than push him further away. I don't think I succeeded in convincing him, but I'd like to think that I turned the dial a little more than antagonizing him might have.
One more story. Recently on my college campus there was a demonstration organized by a radical christian group. They were holding signs saying things like "Got Aids Yet?" and other inflammatory things about "sinners". I thought that it was pretty disgusting what they were "preaching", so I joined the counter protest (even going so far to kiss a male friend dressed as Jesus in front of them). Yet, as much as I find these people abhorrent, I couldn't help but be peeved when I saw people online complaining that the university would let them hold their rally at all. You may not personally agree with me, but I decided to reply and say that while I find them and their message wrong, I believe that they have the right to demonstrate either way, because if we pick and choose who can demonstrate, who's to say people in power won't pick and choose against us? I was told to "shut up, nerd".
This is my general issue with the liberal discourse these days. I just feel like people would rather hold onto their moral superiority rather than actually have a conversation. People would seem to rather foster enemies than perhaps educate others and create allies. Maybe if we didn't gatekeep liberalism and tried to expand our ideas instead of closing ourselves off, we could actually make a difference and move things forward.
Maybe, maybe not.
(also I feel like there's a lack of focus on liberal economic policies, protect the working class and all that, but that's a discussion for another post)
Anyways, if you're looking for an incredible animated horror classic, please check out PERFECT BLUE, directed by Satoshi Kon.