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Being apolitical in a hyper-partisan era

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posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 05:14 AM
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Hi ATS it has been a while.

I wanted to explore the concept of "apoliticality" and especially with reference to our own heated times.

Ten years ago if I told people I was "apolitical" almost everyone would just nod, and that would be the end of it. In a free society, opting out has always been an option. The right not to vote, not to get involved, not to be screeching shrill opinions has always been to my mind a valid choice for some.

Oh what a difference a few years makes!

Now it seems that to declare yourself "apolitical" will bring down the wrath of just about everyone.

On the left, they tell me that my "opting out" is an illusion, that by doing nothing I am implicitly giving my concent to a repressive, heteronormative, sexist, racist, white privileged society. To the left, I am apparently stained with the original sin of whiteness, and only stringent effort of the self-flagellating sort can save me.

On the right, there are disdainful chuckles and I am treated as naive if not mentally deficient for thinking I can sidestep my "civic responsibility." At worst I am considered some kind of traitor to a threatened democracy for not taking a stand against the communists threatening our way of life.

Meanwhile all I want to do is get on with my quiet life as a low-level lab technician and my hobby as a horticulturalist. I had a childhood that totally soured me on politics, manipulation, and power dynamics (anyone wanting to see why can click the link in my signature). When I finally established myself as an adult after some struggle, all I wanted was a simple quiet life devoid of "big questions" such as politics or cosmic issues.

I always thought this was a valid option. For some people, I believe, it is a necessary option -- part of a healing process if they have a certain type of background.

One thing I have noticed: the insistence that "everything is political" and that there is no way to avoid politics (in everything from your word choice to your breakfast cereal choice) is relatively new in America. It is, however, a defining factor of totalitarian societies.

Does this worry you? It worries me. I'm taking a stand...for not taking a stand. I can't be the only one who feels this way...can I?




posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 07:21 AM
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a reply to: Never Despise

Yes, of course you should be able to be apolitical, living your life in peace, doing for yourself and by yourself, and letting others do for themselves and by themselves. Live and let live. And this right should be protected and defended by our government.

Unfortunately, and increasingly at an astonishing pace, not only government but our fellow citizens think they can force their will upon others. And do.

As the saying goes, you may not care about politics, but politics care about you.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 07:29 AM
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a reply to: Never Despise

You want to stay on the beach and build a sandcastle while there is a tsunami warning.

I wish for a time of peace and prosperity where you are able to pursue your passion.

Unfortunately that time is not now.

Whether you vote or not.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 07:41 AM
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originally posted by: Never Despise
Does this worry you? It worries me. I'm taking a stand...for not taking a stand. I can't be the only one who feels this way...can I?


I've been a Libertarian for some time so it's similar, if I tell someone Trump is an imbecile they automatically assume I support that cretin, Biden. Who cares what people say to you? Tell them to STFU and mind their own business.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 07:43 AM
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a reply to: 19Bones79

I always liked the movie Dr. Zhivago. If you haven't seen it, the main character is a romantic poetry-writing physician who tries to distance himself from the storms of the times as much as possible. He is from a prosperous (though not truly high-elite) background, which makes him suspect to the communists, but he is willing to give it all up if they will just let him in peace. He is denounced for writing romantic poetry because it is seen as "too personal" and not political enough for an era in which one fanatic declares, "the personal life is dead...only the political remains." He can't really get with the rightists fighting the communists, either, because they are increasingly doomed and using tactics like child soldiers, which he finds morally repugnant. In the end he just wants to have a love affair, heal people, and live quietly...I won't spoil it by saying whether or not he succeeded.

But he does manage to slip through the cracks for a long time. Of course it helps that he is a doctor and thus has a skill that both sides value. I have no such highfalutin' skills, but I do have a certain amount of hope that my very uselessness and petty status in society will help me remain under the radar of all fanatics. Perhaps I am overly optimistic.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 07:44 AM
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a reply to: Never Despise

I'm sorry that you have to endure these waves of madness caused by the fat kids doing cannon balls in the shallow end of the pool, I hope that your garden brings you the peace you need to be happy.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 08:06 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Yeah, it's all 'who goes there, friend or foe?'

Next, there will be magic passwords along with demands for 'papers'.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 08:56 AM
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An answer that seems to satisfy most is
"I am not much for politicians, or politics. I only care about policy" then if they are wanting to bring up a specific piece of legislation (most likely they won't. people are dreadfully ignorant of policies being discussed and in place) you will maybe share an opinion about that specific thing.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 09:18 AM
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Being apolitical in this era is impossible.

inundated from media,film,television,school you're constantly being bombarded with political agenda.

Bout the only way to really become apolitical is getting shipwrecked on a deserted island with no cell/internet services.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 09:21 AM
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originally posted by: neo96
Being apolitical in this era is impossible.

inundated from media,film,television,school you're constantly being bombarded with political agenda.


Not everyone has brains of oatmeal and enables media to tell them how to think.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 10:18 AM
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a reply to: Never Despise

I was cursed out for being "centrist". Although im anything but centrist, because I don't fully embrace either political dogma i get lumped into that.

The world is painted in red and blue. If you aren't either red or blue, you are purple. There is no other colors. Sadly.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 10:20 AM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: Never Despise
Does this worry you? It worries me. I'm taking a stand...for not taking a stand. I can't be the only one who feels this way...can I?


I've been a Libertarian for some time so it's similar, if I tell someone Trump is an imbecile they automatically assume I support that cretin, Biden. Who cares what people say to you? Tell them to STFU and mind their own business.


He absolutely IS an imbecile. But in a world only painted in 2 colors, you get to choose between only those 2. Might as well call it "black and white", as that is pretty much how folks see it.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 11:10 AM
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If I may be permitted I would like to go back to this portion of my first post:


originally posted by: Never Despise
One thing I have noticed: the insistence that "everything is political" and that there is no way to avoid politics (in everything from your word choice to your breakfast cereal choice) is relatively new in America. It is, however, a defining factor of totalitarian societies.


The "politicization of everything" is IMHO a deeply pernicious trend and it is a big part of the reason one can't "opt out" the way that was possible even ten years ago. Politics is in your chicken sandwich choice, your sports, the words you use, even if you hesitate too long over a touchy question around the water cooler at work. Politics is quickly seeping into everything.

This is worse than annoying -- it's dangerous. Because "all politics all the time" is a feature of totalitarian life.

In the Red Terror, people would say things like, "thanks to Comerade Stalin, I was inspired to wash the dishes more efficiently after dinner today." Under Mao, transactions at the corner store began and ended with quotes from the "little red book." In Pol Pot's cambodia, failure to dress identically and have identical hairstyles was cause for execution (in fact it was a standing order to shoot anyone with glasses because they would have been bourgeois enough to afford them in the old regime). Failure to comply with the politicization of everyday life's most mundane details was cause for denunciation.

It is the conquest of private life by collective life. Depersonalization. Skull control.

Why? Orwell explained nicely in 1984, in the words of the character Julia:

"When you [do something private you enjoy] you're using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don't give a d_mn for anything. They can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply [private pleasure] gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?"


I fear America is headed down this slippery slope...unless we stand up for the right to carve off a non-political space in our lives.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: Never Despise

Well, I wish you only the best. I really do.


And sometime I will watch that movie.


edit on 17-10-2020 by 19Bones79 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: Never Despise

but I do have a certain amount of hope that my very uselessness and petty status in society will help me remain under the radar of all fanatics.


Be that as it may Mr. Despise, your OP presents you as one of the dwindling voices of reason around here. Thank you for that.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: Never Despise


All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply [private pleasure]


I have wondered at this phenomena as well. All the flag waving. Remember right after 9/11 how people on tv were judged by whether or not they wore a little flag button? ''Why don't YOU wear a button. Are you a commie or something?''.

I live in a very rural county that votes heavily to the conservative side. Heavily. I drive down my road and see flags waving from most homes. People attach them to their cars, a couple have huge flags waving from the back of their pickups. Even a few people in wheel chairs rolling down the street have them waving from wheelchair poles.

I always wonder at that. Do they think they are a better Americans than those who do not wave flags? Is that how they prove it?



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

Same. And while my general views dovetail nicely with the conservatives I live around...i just don't see how paying a company for their patriotic material does anything other than make them wealther, and me just a little poorer.

Im far too practical to buy name brands, or show logos. The US flag is what it is: a symbol. I don't particularly revere it, although the ideals behind it can bring me to tears.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 12:28 PM
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a reply to: Never Despise


all I wanted was a simple quiet life devoid of "big questions" such as politics or cosmic issues





posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 12:30 PM
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I hate to be that guy, but ten years ago a democrat was in the office. You could be apolitical. Now they’re burning the country down because not everyone thinks like them nor do they want to.
Like it or not, the right is trying to mind their own business.



posted on Oct, 17 2020 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

It was my uncle years and year ago that pointed that out to me. The company logo on a shirt. It was that little alligator symbol and I was so happy to be like the ''neat'' people who wore them. Ah, high school in the early sixties.

He said, you have turned yourself into a billboard. You work for free doing advertising. Working free for my church was one thing but working for free for some corporation was quite another. So I got rid of that shirt.

But then years later, the whole advertising for free thing had caught on and all the labels that had for the most part been on the inside of clothing were now displayed openly. I actually spent over two decades tearing off the logos on pants and tee shirts and stuff. Ripping off the name of my tennies or taking a black marker and marking over the logos. Yeah, I"m an anti advertising zealot.




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