The Politicization of Everything
Posted in : Government and Society, Uncategorized on by : Michael Maharrey Tags: government, gun control, Las Vegas, politics
Rahm Emanuel famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
In other words, every crisis provides an opportunity for political action and government intervention.
After a gunman in Las Vegas rained gunfire down on a crowd of concertgoers, politicians immediately began tripping over themselves hoping to push through new gun control measures. While a few people criticized the politicization of the shooting, some of the most ardent gun control advocates made no apologies for using the deaths of 58 people as a gruesome platform to advance their agendas.
One woman on Facebook defended the push for new gun laws by claiming it isn’t political.
“If the Mandalay Bay Hotel had caught fire, and 58 people died and 500-plus people were injured trying to escape, America would be having a discussion about how to make hotels safer. If 58 people at the concert had died and 500-plus people went to the hospital due to food poisoning, America would be having a conversation about how to make food safer. If a gas tanker accident on I-15, the freeway that runs through Las Vegas, had killed 58 people and injured 500-plus, there would be demands to make our roads safer. It is not ‘political’ to demand that lawmakers take steps to reduce deaths from gun violence any more than it is ‘political’ to demand better fire codes, stricter food inspections, and safer roads.”
But my dear – it is political to demand better fire codes, stricter food inspections, and safer roads. You didn’t just prove the push for gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting isn’t political. You merely demonstrated in the U.S. of A. everything is political.
Indeed, virtually every aspect of life has become subject to the political process. Americans have even managed to politicize pro football. The U.S. Department of Defense set things in motion by paying teams to create patriotic propaganda displays before games, and the president kept the ball rolling when he weighed in on players protesting during the National Anthem. Americans have split into warring camps, arguing about whether or not football men should be forced to stand during the national song.
So, what does politicization mean at its core? It means coercion and violence lurk behind virtually every process in American society. The Facebook woman who tried to convince us of the “nonpolitical” nature of the gun control debate in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy fundamentally believes hitting people is the best way to accomplish – well – just about everything. If we hit people, we’ll have safer roads. If we hit people, we’ll have safer food. If we hit people, we’ll have safer buildings.
If we hit people, they’ll give up their guns.
It’s ironic that a woman on a moral crusade to end violence gleefully embraces the use of violence to achieve her ends.
And make no mistake; that is the nature of the political process – violence. Some readers will say, “Mike, you’re being a bit hyperbolic.”
In order to enforce gun control, government will have to impose and enforce laws banning certain types of guns or firearm accessories. And behind every law lies the implied threat of force. What if I decide I don’t want to give up my gun, or I want to own a banned accessory? Ultimately, it will take people with guns to enforce these laws. If they catch me, they will punish me by locking me in a cage. If I resist, they will kill me. Politics roots itself in coercion, force and violence.
And the political process sanitizes the violence.
Facebook woman would never have the guts to physically threaten me on the street in order to coerce me into doing something against my will. Now, she would probably defend herself if I initiated violence against her – and she would be justified in doing so. But virtually nobody would say she was justified in bludgeoning me because she thinks I might be a danger someday, or simply because she doesn’t like what I’m doing. You can’t ethically go punch your neighbor because you have a feeling he might steal your weed-wacker, or because you don’t like the color she painted her house, or because he happens to own a gun that scares you.
But if you tap into the political process, you can get the government to do it for you.
Facebook woman can effectively attack me if I have the wrong kind of gun, or if she thinks something I’m doing might be dangerous, or simply because I offend her moral sensibilities in some way. She can direct government agents to lock me up or kill me, all the while sitting safely behind her keyboard, declaring to the world she’s a moral, peaceful person.
Her hands may appear clean, and she may wear the facade of respectability, but her heart harbors every bit as much violence as the Las Vegas shooter. Sadly, she probably doesn’t even realize it.