Myth of the Political Grey Area

There is no political grey area. There is only feigned pragmatism. Wet noodle-ism.

The grey, the political middle in the American constituency, or what is considered moderate positions, has long been equivocating endorsers of the status quo. In today’s world these are corporate democrats, the Hillary voters who are still buying her shtick, the Republicans who are debating going to the left because Trump is a step too far even though he represents exactly what Republicans have been endorsing for years, and lastly the people still sincerely standing for the national anthem but aware America might just have some problems.

This is moderately preferable to coming to rest on the first idea one is fed in life and then traipsing around forever proselytizing it. Those in the contemporary middle have taken the time to moderately see past the pitfalls of mind control exploit number one, organized religion, but have fallen prey to level two – government.

However, the situation isn’t that this middle is filled with villainy as they are mostly a decent lot, but they are rooted in a bubble; a myopia in which they often make a conscious choice to not gaze too far outside of because they prefer the entrapments of culture and hence are fodder for subsequent buzzing distractions. They have been fed a diet based in capitalist value systems and primarily see only the pop culture images flickering in Plato’s cave. The modern cave has upgrades and no longer casts shadows from the cave entrance, but projects images of perpetual avoidance streamed in full HD. The cave programming manager has a locked in schedule for its viewers – a consumption, shame, judgment, punishment, and egotism marathon scheduled from here till the apocalypse.

The political wishy-washies have but a semblance of an open mind. They will tend to vacillate between two arbitrary but familiar and entrenched points of view, their conclusions reached are gutless “agree to disagree” platitudes, while applying no real reason or supporting warrants to why their middle ground delusions are worthwhile in the scope of humane treatment of people. We all fall into this space at some point in our lives.  Some see past the instilled cultural boundaries early, others fall into established social systems and indoctrination from corporate culture where they remain committed to a series of lifelong rationalizations thereafter in an effort to never have to face the latent values they have accepted.

The Overton Window rules the mind of the political middle. The Overton Window describes the range of ideas people are willing to accept. It’s the range of their middle ground. And through this window is where terrible ideas sneak in.  People fall into a mode of ostensible reasonability often with little care of the ethics actually endorsed. They will choose the middle of what they perceive as the outlying ideas of acceptance.

If a scientist claims we cannot safely remove any more fossil fuels from mother earth due to the ever increasing possibility of abrupt climate change occurring – and on the other “side” a climate denier states there is no such thing as anthropogenic global warming – then the moderate will likely come to rest on the point of view that “Well, climate change may be occurring but it’s not as bad as the scientists make it out to be.”

The weak willed middle ground recedes to philosophical pablum believing “the truth must lie somewhere in the middle”, which has no rational argument other than blindly obeying a trite turn of phrase, because other people say it, then it must be true. This is the exact type of idealism that has infected the democratic party’s constituency. Intellectual gutlessness closely followed by lazy thinking.

Politicians play the middle when they want to hit that pragmatic note, but what’s going on behind the scenes is the same political chicanery and venality the moderates think only happens on the extreme sides of ideologies. One can never be sure what a feckless moderate endorses at any particular time.  It’s one thing to be aware one is choosing the lesser of two evils due to being trapped in a sea of bad choices, but it’s another to not acknowledge that improvement is possible and ignore it’s the system that is at the root of the problem.

They believe when their chosen team is in charge that all the choices have been considered thoroughly and weighed equally in open debate and the options given to us are the totality of the range of the best options available. This, of course, is a fabrication. There is no real debate going on.  There is only talk of how to spin ideas to the populace so that government, banks, and the corporatocracy can continue looting, killing, and exploiting.

The grey – they talk peace, but usually believe some war is necessary since that’s the middle position of the Overton Window these days. But they are generally aghast at the grotesqueries war produces. I’d contend anyone too disgusted to look at the tragedy of war, and while also capable of endorsing a system that promotes institutional violence, is of weak character.

You have to be willing to look at some dead babies being pulled out of rubble if you’re going to be okay with drone strikes. The horrors we champion in nationalistic fits of pride are killing innocents in droves.  We are launching attacks and delivering misery in the middle east to the faceless nameless hordes which resemble a slow moving genocide over the last several decades. Yet, in the hazy shade of grey the status quo positions remain salient because the middle just drifted off into another digital alternate reality, too lazy to care about what their tax dollars are supporting.

Perhaps the middle is a result of a genetic darwinian thing. Too far out to the sides of the herd and you get chomped on by predators. Better odds of survival if you stay in the middle of the herd. But the herd is blind and is running towards that often noted cliff.

In the middle position, disliking American ideals is too edgy for moderate minds. They still condone this American construct and its mass incarceration system, the wars, the faux democracy, predatory capitalism, climate obliteration, a 6th mass extinction event.  It’s all on the table just so long as their position seems to be within what is socially acceptable. The desperate need for social validation trumps all ethical considerations.

Like all parts of politics what is pragmatic has been manufactured. The word compromise and “reaching across the aisle” appeals to a sense of coming together under a bullshit guise of reasonability. However, the lines of compromise are drawn by whoever is lobbying the hardest and willing to grease the right palms.

Those in the grey are usually well meaning, but typically in the thralls of the utopian center fed to them by the institutions and exponentially increasing amounts of Orwellian speak. They don’t understand how many euphemisms have been encoded into our speech that are nothing but bullshit. They don’t know the extent to which people can lie. They don’t know the ostensible veracity and aplomb in which our “leaders” can state something they consciously know is a falsehood but they sell it on CNN anyways.

These are the believers of the narratives of mainstream media and government speak. They are the embodiment of the trite aphorism why can’t we all just get along? Well, because the established powers that be are assholes, Rodney. They’re real dicks, they are, a whole lot of them, and you can’t keep forgiving someone punching you in the face without first stopping them from doing it again.

There is no grey area when it comes to endorsing a murderous system. Need it be even said that most people would agree that starting wars for no reason other than empire building via violent acquisition of resources and then charging the people for it is a ridiculous notion?

A more ethically objective Overton Window would contend unloading misery on others militarily, economically, or any kind of meddling is immoral, and to be reasonable is to endorse cooperative economies in symbiosis with nature sans destruction. It is our own Overton Windows of acceptance to which we must invest conscious awareness. What have we accepted as our middle? Is that fair to others? And does it result in greater happiness, healing, and the least amount of suffering? It’s through this window of objective reasonability that light may finally douse the grey.

Jason Holland is a writer and a proponent of peaceful revolution. Visit his blog Reasonbowl.com. He can be reached at jason.holland@reasonbowl.com or follow him on twitter @ReasonBowl. Youtube content at Reason Bowl Radio. Read other articles by Jason, or visit Jason's website.