America’s Latest Pasttime: The politicization of Everything

Right now, the most dangerous thing about politics is… politics.

Politics are dangerous to everybody. This is true if you’re scraping spray-painted obscenities off your Trump/Pence yard sign and wearing your MAGA cap at half-mast in mourning. And this is also true if you think AOC and the Green New Dealers have just dealt you a straight flush. (Flush twice – it’s a long way from Congress to your lunch bucket.)

Of course, politics have always been dangerous. Politics are how it’s decided who controls government… Whoever controls government controls the force of the law… And the force of the law is a lethal force.

Fail to pay a parking ticket and you’ll be fined. Refuse to pay the fine and you’ll be jailed. Try to escape from jail and you’ll be shot. Every law, every government rule and regulation, no matter how trivial or picayune, is obeyed at the point of a gun.

That gun is called politics. And what makes politics so dangerous right now is that Americans – Left, Right, and Center (if there even is a Center anymore) – have come to believe that the answer to every question is political.

How much money should we have?
How much money can we have?
What’s a dollar worth?
How many dollars must we pay employees?
Who are the employees required to be?
Who is allowed to employ them?
Who’s a real American?
Who’s just pretending?
Who gets to exercise free speech?
What if they speak too freely?
What should be taught in school?
What should be believed in church?
Which doctor can we go to?
Which car can we drive?
Or do we have to take the train?
And what should the weather be like?

Politics has become our first resort. And resorting to politics every time we face a problem is as absurd as (and identical to) resorting to firearms.

“Grab your shootin’ iron, Pa! Ma’s got bunions!”

It’s safer to rely on people (a podiatrist, for example) than it is to rely on politics.

P. J. O’Rourke, American Consequences

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