“Boston: The humble, liberal college town, just north of New York City,
Weeping willows at the Public Garden once wept in beauty,
But now they weep for thee.”
Please excuse the brief pretentious prose I’ve written above. However, it may be the only true thing I’ve written in this angry little column. But why would I write such a negative critique of our beloved city by the sea? Because it’s my duty. (At least, I tell myself this.) MODERN LIBERALISM IS DYING IN IT’S BIRTHPLACE. I said it and with a heavy heart it brings relief. Women and men of our world class universities, please stop protesting arbitrary things!
Boston itself truly created the original Democratic process in which the now united colonies followed. Based upon the freedoms of, individualism and society simultaneously, our founders here in the Cradle of Liberty decided on liberal ideals and being tolerant to views to which are not our own.
Now in modern days. with the amount of power our generation holds in the palm of our hands (literally,) I’ve begun to think that maybe we’ve been using it the wrong way. Unlike any other generation, we were the first to have infinite amounts of information, videos, music, and a sensory overload of breaking news, showing us, for the first time, the horrors of police brutality taking place across the nation and even in our hometowns. (This is an issue I wish we marched for more often.)
Now, you would think that with this information, a tool as powerful as an iPhone could literally fix the issues at hand by merely sharing videos and petitions to end violence, environmental issues, unfair wages etc. But as we are now witnessing, it’s been for the most part, useless and even a catalyst for more polarity in our society.
I’m a man who is passionate about many things, from my love of art, cultures, history, and politics, (even to the point of getting into fist fights over political differences.) But recently, I’ve become a bit sickened from everything I see online from both the political right and left. Are we taking this too far? With a POTUS who doesn’t have an ounce of character within him, it seems that we too are losing our sense of our own character by acting like assholes to people we don’t even know, while hiding behind a computer screen.
Just recently, a liberal friend of mine had posted a meme featuring Elon Musk smoking a joint on a podcast. She was in uproar over it. In fact, a lot of people were. It simply changed from, a brilliant CEO smoking a joint, into an argument against mass incarceration, which obviously as a liberal I care deeply about this issue, but really…why make Mr. Musk an enemy for a few days before we move to the next victim of social media witch trial? (Since the Elon Musk uproar, which was last month, I have not once seen another post from this friend protesting mass incarceration.)
Now, personally I am, and always will be a leftist. But I’m beginning to question, “What exactly, or who exactly are the left?”
Universal healthcare. Tuition free higher education. Living Wage. These are pretty much the staples of a leftist policy.
But now, it seems as though we’ve forgotten what true liberalism is. One definition states: free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant.
Are we tolerant of the views that conservatives have? I honestly do not think we are, and now we’re playing a dangerous game, in which the winner will most likely be intolerant and incapable of letting the opposing side keep their views.
I wish I could be apathetic to political discussions. But how can you not be outraged by the killings of innocent black men and women? How can we ever stand by and watch a megalomaniac president end decades of pure friendship with our allies? The answer is that we cannot. However, there is the wrong way to fight, and there is the right way to fight. We have the answer, however, we need to look at the problem.
Bigoted people will be bigoted, and open-minded individuals will be open-minded. Are they wrong? To me, yes, but sharing a meme online won’t help the cause. We channel all of our energy into watching the news on our phones, waiting for the next thing to complain about.
To my fellow millennials and to the newer generations to come: Please keep your morality, and do not sink to the levels of our fellow men and women with opposing views. Do not hate. For when we do this, we are no longer liberals or leftists, we have become the very antithesis of our ideals.
Us Millennials are moving on, and the Z kids already freshman in one of Greater Boston’s world class universities, I believe it is time to grow up.
In my youth, I believed in violence, and perhaps it still does linger in my brain. But we should never focus on American citizens with opposing views. Make change through running for office, as we have already begun to do. Make change through kindness to the old man at Starbucks wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. We can debate, but when we become arrogant and overly sensitive to the minute complaints of vernacular such as defining oneself as a cis-male or polyglot gender fluid bullshit, we are only asking for a fight, it’s as simple as that. Be tolerant of the person like myself whom doesn’t keep up with the new list of politically correct terms, all I can do is treat you like another human being, and if I don’t like you because you’re a rude or nasty person, it’s not because of what you identify yourself as, it’s just because you’re an asshole.
As I’m becoming apathetic to it all, I have to remind myself that altruism is the only thing that we have in common with conservative minded people. (Just the other day, I was overwhelmed with happiness when I finally found one indisputable piece of evidence defending altruism; when I was driving, a driver coming from the opposite direction flashed their high beams, indicating that I should slow down because of the sneaky policeman lurking up ahead. It filled my heart with joy.) The golden rule still lays dormant within us, and when we get off of social media, and put down our fucking phones, it is then that we can truly practice what we preach; tolerance toward all human beings, even if they are fucking idiots.