Oh, all the things I didn't say the last time about politics...I didn't say, but probably still should. First of all, I've always known this and never cared, but it's starting to bother me: This is a super-liberal, mostly feminine-influenced and nearly-antifa leaning site and I'm a middle of the road/left-leaning person. This site hasn't changed me (well, it's made me more sympathetic on race issues, but hasn't changed me much, otherwise).
Lest I forget I'm middle of the road as I was seven, 10, or even 25 years ago, not more than days after my last post Other Person and I were discussing a particularly politically-minded neighbor while sitting outside after dinner (a Trump supporter, a definite part of The Base, and my God they're the worst) when he looked at me and said, "Of course, you'd never want to talk to him when he gets like that [off on a political rant] because you're so middle of the road". And I felt the flush come up as I thought: "My God, does it show?".
It's my best (or worst) kept secret: I won't take sides because that's the side the party name on my voter registration card says I'm on. While I'll never go around agreeing Nazis are nice people, I've known a nice person to be a Nazi - a distasteful thought, but also as much a fact as a subjective decision about someone's temperament can be. I mean, I don't know, maybe he burned Jews upside down in effigy in his backyard, or stabbed little dolls with Swiss knives in his room late at night as he cursed them for being tiny proxies of the elitist worldwide global conspiracy. Maybe he did even worse. I wasn't privy to that and never will be. I only know he was nice. And a Nazi.
Also, my dad was Jewish, so shut up.
This is one of the reasons I'm middle of the road though maybe you're not: Because not only do I know they exist, but I know that among the greatest dangers to Jews on the face of the Earth is a nice Nazi. Mean and out-there arrogant ones are immediately even worse, of course, but no, they should not be punched (that's another post, maybe not tonight). But everyone dismisses the juxtaposition of niceness and Naziness as impossible, a mistake humanity makes over and over - twice in less than a hundred years now, from what I can see.
But no one thinks millions of German psychopaths fought the Nazi cause on battlefields and supported the politics in order that the war could carry on. No one seriously thinks Germans were all monsters down to the last woman, man and child who stood behind the cause? Because many of them were like the guy who waves to you each morning as he picks his paper up off the lawn, then drives from his neatly kept suburban home wearing a white shirt with short sleeves and a little bow tie off to be an accountant each day.
They were like the curly-haired cashier at the local grocery who always remembers the stamps you buy each Friday before you can even remind her to pull the book out of the till. They were like the mom down the road who watches her three year old - and yours - every day after pre-school so you can hold that little part-time job without going broke on day care; because she's cool like that, she looks out for you.
And though I'm limiting my examples to but a few, you can multiply the everydayness of them by tens of millions: the psychopaths in Germany, from Hitler on, were present, and caused more psychological (to this day) and collateral damage than the rest of the citizenry combined, but much of the citizenry was right there with them - either in spirit or else in fear of what might happen to their own lives should they dare turn from politically-based, state-sanctioned hatred of The Other.
And if you think none of them were "nice" - let's define nice, first: What does it mean to you? To me it means someone friendly, someone kindly to family, friends, neighbors, pets, coworkers, others. Your definition might differ from mine. If you think none of them were "nice" - not by any means - then you might think again, because there's no version of Earth that's been created yet where you can trust a Nazi *not* to be some seemingly nice person you know.
Until people can get a central idea through their heads - that like opioid addiction, Nazism can strike anyone anywhere, not just "skinheads" or that guy with the raggy, uncombed beard and tattoo sleeves who makes you wonder if he's some fascist motherfucker though he's probably not, but without asking him you honestly don't know - you can't make progress against it. Not just that, but not knowing who a Nazi was or is literally lost the world Germany back in the 1940s - perhaps too much seeming niceness run amok.
The problem is everyone thinks classical definitions of niceness can't exist alongside a bona fide felt or acted upon hatred of The Other, yet they can, and one of the most insidious ways this spreads is by nice people becoming convinced there's an Us and a Them, and that the Them is out to get (or kill) Us. Us - we're the nice people getting walked all over. But Them - the evil [fill in race signifier here, since most racists don't just hate one race] are out to DESTROY Us, so let's do something, or let's support the state in their fight against Them. Because it's not Us and Them. It's Us. Or Them.
That's all it takes. It's that easy to make hate live side by side with kindness. I just explained like thousands of years of racism (and most of modern-day US politics) in one crappy little paragraph.
Getting back to middle of the roadness - for me, it doesn't stop with relativism around who's nice and who's not and how that relates to any possible Nazism on the part of "nice" people (hint: it doesn't). Years ago I used to say there was no political party that could contain me. But there's no body of political thought that can, either, because they're too confining, and I'm not a doormat. Just because some ideology says if I believe this then I must believe that doesn't mean that I do, nor that I ever can or will. I'm not an IFTTT program. And I'm not an ideologue.
And so my discomfort with politics grows and grows, stuck between the cracks and crevices of ever-narrowing ideologies. The cracks widen and liberals seem to widen them more - which reminds me, I read an article recently (no link) that explained (finally! I've pondered this question for a year and a half) why Trump encourages the base as he does: Because if he keeps them and Dems divide between libs and moderates (middle of the road), mods will go rogue, and so will all the Independents and those on the fence on both sides of the political bushes. Which isn't genius. But is probably closer to the truth then whatever dreams libs are having about 2018.
I mean, I'd go jump off a bridge a la Mitt Romney winning in 2012 before I go vote for Trump or any R (check the 2012 archives; I almost actually did), but it's safe to say I'll never vote for Trump or any R as long as people who lean more to the left of them exist. There will always be an alternative. Just not the one I want.
This is what party wags don't get: we don't want - or aren't ready for, as a country - a far left political party, and by "we", I mean the 65 million Hillary Clinton voters - does everyone think we all just up and dropped dead on November 10th? We're here. And we're the biggest bloc of middle of the road voters - outside of those who held their nose to vote for Trump or abstained but didn't vote for Clinton, either - that you'll find. But party honchos keep dragging us left, left, left until it's like, "Fine, let me off then, because I'm not hanging one more left until you folks realize you need to just hang tight here for a while".
Progress doesn't happen by dragging the entire population into it, en masse, head first. It takes time for a society to accept (so many) changes. I just want the pace to slow down, because it's trying to change - as a society - too fast that stops progress altogether, that makes people halt and panic and do the opposite, and with Rs especially, we're dealing with a lot of people who emotionally have not even left the Stone Age.
You can't legislate acceptance, you can only create the conditions - slowly and patiently - to allow it to more casually, and permanently, occur.