A country/pop singer was recently attacked by feminists for not speaking against Donald Trump, especially in her recently-released album. (I am intentionally not naming the singer, because the singer herself is irrelevant to the point I am making.) As soon as I saw this, my immediate thought was “this is why people hate politics.”
I know this is shocking, but a lot of people do not give a rip about politics. Over one hundred million voting age citizens did not vote in 2016, in an incredibly close Presidential election. Those non-voters could have easily tipped the balance and put Hillary Clinton in the White House, or they could have made President Trump’s victory in the Electoral College much more decisive. Therefore, both Republicans and Democrats have reason to resent non-voters.
But let’s be real here: Just as freedom of speech involves the right not to speak, the freedom to vote also involves the right not to vote. If a citizen does not wish to vote – no matter the reason – he has every moral and legal right not to vote. Just as someone like me as the right to express political opinions, someone else has the right to be totally silent about political matters. Whether the reason is laziness, cynicism or a principle, the right to be silent is critical in any free society.
In fact, forced speech against someone’s will is a worse violation of free speech rights than censorship. This is why totalitarian regimes throughout history have forced speech on their citizens. You must confirm Caesar is god, you must confirm the rightness of the Communist revolution, and so forth – or you will die. Argue civic responsibility all you want, but no one should be forced into it. That is tyranny.
It is often frustrating that so much of life is politicized. We have to turn everything into a political fight, to be followed by a social media lynch mob. Hyper-partisanship is the rule of the day, right down to what kind of ketchup we consume. There was actually a “W. Brand” ketchup in 2004, because John Kerry’s wife was part of a food empire that made Heinz ketchup. Republicans do not want to support John Kerry, after all! It was as stupid as it sounds, and Leftists are every bit as guilty of this kind of stupidity.
But when we become angry over things that are NOT political, when we become angry that people are NOT endorsing the things we think they should or attacking the things we hate, we know we have gone over the edge. We may not be murdering non-compliant people yet, but this is the same mentality as the Communist nations demanding their citizenry confirm the revolution.
People, chill out. Not everything needs to be a huge feces-throwing contest. Sometimes a music album can be enjoyed on its merits without needing a political message. The same is true with a book, a movie, a video game or a sport. Stop trying to fight with everyone all the time. If people do not actively resent you for it, they will roll their eyes and laugh at you. Worst of all, you will be miserable. This is a terrible way to live.