I’m at university and it’s as if I’m the only moderate in existence. The centre doesn’t seem to be appealing to the masses anymore exemplified by hordes of Facebook keyboard warriors fighting it out in the comment section of some inflammatory article on the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park yesterday. Meaningless buzz words such as ‘red pill’ and ‘cuck’ are being thrown around with everybody losing their minds more over the words of some burnout from Oslo has used rather than the atrocities taking place on seemingly a weekly basis in the UK. Even the people calling for support for the victims and not making a vile attack on civil liberties a political, virtual throw down are being shouted at through cyberspace. I can’t think of an atrocity that has taken place in the past year that hasn’t devolved into people on either side of the aisle using it as a way to push one agenda or another.
Being able to see merit in both the right wing and left wing has become such a taboo in our globally divided society especially demonstrated in university cities where the right is hounded to the ends of the Earth for saying ‘hey, maybe Trump’s intentions of an economically viable America isn’t such a bad thing’ while the leftist who shouts ‘die cis scum’ at the top of their lungs in the city centre goes viral and revered by the masses. On the other end of the spectrum in the pubs of our cities and villages across the UK and perhaps the world, the opposite takes place only rather than economic viability, Trump’s policies on wall building are hailed. Being in the middle of politics is like being bisexual with people on either side confused and terrified shouting at you – and I – to pick a side.
The lack of choice to make your own opinion; being forced to pick a side by establishments such as The Guardian or The Sun and the equally polarised Milo Yiannopoulos or Michael Moore, I find in itself an attack on my right to free speech. Even places that promote free speech like Facebook and Twitter create echo chambers with ‘suggested pages’ and click bait to put the individual in a neat box to fill a site quota. You are either left or you are right, the middle is a lie we tell to our innocent children so they can both believe in Santa Claus: a man who dresses in red and hands out free gifts to the world; and that we have to experience some form of pain to earn money, a lesson that forms the basis of the Tooth Fairy concept. Right?
It strikes me as obvious since those on either side of the argument keep saying it to me and to each other: ‘liberalism isn’t viable’ and ‘conservatism isn’t viable’.
They say life is all about moderation so why does this not apply to our politics? It borderline depresses me how divided people are on things, and yes, I do understand that we as a species will always have our own opinions, but it seems the digital age has ushered in casual extremism from both sides of the aisle and that no one seems to look at it with even the slightest scepticism. Growing up in a family where one side was left and the other was right, sitting on the fence has become comfortable like a bed of nails to a sadist. The fence is a unique viewpoint that more should adopt; you’re able to see the perfectly manicured grass in the right garden, the well-constructed decking in the left garden, all while being able to observe the unfortunate abundance of dog shit no matter where you look. I for one, do not enjoy the idea of having it all over my shoes and would encourage anyone to join me in that philosophy by saying: ‘stop throwing shit at each other like animals, have a beer and get on the fence. There’s plenty of room.’