The Problems We Face and How They Hold Back Progress
What is politics exactly? For one, it bleeds into every aspect of our lives, and that’s due to the nature of how we go about it. Our political stances are generally molded by a mixture of upbringing, society, morality, and ideology. When these things clash, moving forward can be hard, if not impossible at times. My main focus is going to be with the last two factors: ideology and morality, because these can be molded by both society and one’s upbringing.
So, what progress am I talking about? A myriad of things. To list a few, I’d say technological advancements, quality of life improvements, and the rights of others. All three of these are hindered by two things: lack of knowledge, and fear usually stemmed from ideology. When it comes to things like LGBT rights like same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws, they’re usually opposed by religious groups and individuals, who have ideals the church told them in the past. Are those ideals correct? To play devil’s advocate, I would have to say there is no right and wrong answer here, at least philosophically speaking. My ideology is doing what makes the most people happy, healthy, and safe. Politics is a battle of differing ideology, where each person has to try to convince the other through studies, social understanding, and moral values.
The issue with most of those ideological debates as that there are a lot of people in this world that aren’t open-minded and will die on the hill they stand on before truly contemplating the information they’re given. This is why when one government group passes anti-discrimination laws, their counterparts tear them back down when they can. It’s a cycle of one step forward, two steps back. The same can be said about technological advancements, although that stems more from comfortability and fear of change rather than anything else. As technology moves forward, we erase old jobs and need to accommodate that, but we need to look at that from every angle. Instead of just worrying about jobs, how about we talk about a solution where people don’t need to work more than 25 hours a week and can sustain themselves on part-time work? That could open up more positions within companies, not to mention greatly lower stress among workers. On top of that, more people could actively participate in the economy. Another problem is wealth inequality. Wealth itself isn’t a problem, but the fact that only a small few have the majority of it is an issue. Everyone deserves to live comfortably and happily, not just those in charge of large companies or franchises.
So, why do we keep things as they are? At the moment, we’re just watching the quality of life for many get worse and worse, as the rich get richer and a handful of organizations keep their power over the many. Do you know we can greatly decrease the homeless population with a simple solution? Tiny house villages have helped the homeless exponentially since they’ve begun development. Seattle implemented them and they’ve helped the once-homeless get off their feet once again. Austin, Texas also implemented a village and often provide work for the homeless as well. They have to pay rent there, so it’s not free, but it works more as their own small economy. The problem that people face with implementing things like this is it has to be paid for through taxes. As someone with the set of ideals and morality I have, I would like to say that paying a little extra money to help a great many is a very small price to pay. If you don’t like taxes and think they’re theft, then maybe you’d do better out on your own, away from a democratic society, because you don’t want to help anyone but yourself. As a society, it’s our job to help each other and sometimes we have to make our own sacrifices for the greater good.
Let’s get back to LGBT rights for a moment. The biggest contention here is the religious right thinking it’s a sin to be a part of the group to begin with. However, it doesn’t hurt them at all to let these people live in peace. Your religion isn’t everyone’s and your interpretation of your texts aren’t universal either. There’s contention even within religious organizations and I think they need to be challenged. Same-sex couples have the same right to marriage as different-sex partners. Marriage isn’t exclusive to Christianity, nor was it always just between a man and woman in the past. Nations don’t crumble because two men or two women love each other. This is a moral problem in religion that needs to be discussed and challenged on a regular basis to make progress. If everything were up to religious ideology, I probably wouldn’t even be alive if extremists got their way. Everyone has a right to believe what they wish and love who they love, and it’s up to the many to decide a course of action that allows everyone to live in peace. That’s why I’ve wanted to be a journalist; to bring these discussions to the attention of many.
These differences in opinion need to be engaged in with an open-mind and judged on one’s own moral system and what they envision an ideal world to look like. Not only that, but you have to push for what you think is right, and also admit when you’re proven wrong. Everyone is wrong from time-to-time, and it’s up to them whether they’ll let the experience help mold them, or ignore the experience. My point is that as long as democracy and society exists, these philosophical discussions need to be had and minds need to change for a functioning world. Always keep learning and don’t let fear hold you back from trying new ideas.