-Originally published as a Facebook status-
Many people seem to be wondering why the nation is so divided, why there’s so much antagonism, why there’s so much hate. The answer is simple: It’s because too many parts of our lives have become politicized.
When I was standing outside of the Capitol during Trump’s swearing-in, I felt a sense of dread around both the rabidly pro-Trump and rabidly anti-Trump individuals surrounding me. They were shouting each other down. They were filled with a palpable “us versus them” attitude. It saddens me because in a free society, it shouldn’t be this way.
But this is the end result of making more and more parts of daily life subject to the majoritarian whims of politics rather than the endless choices provided in a truly free market. When inherently self-interested individuals are in an environment where serving one another yields positive benefits, which is what happens when people are free to organize absent government coercion, society blossoms.
Given this historically clear reality, I simply wish my well-meaning liberal friends would consider that what they often hail as “democracy” is actually nothing more than majoritarian rule under which they will inevitably find themselves subjugated. If what you want is choice, autonomy, and tolerance, you’re not going to find it when you attempt to subject everybody around you to a 50% +1 political mandate. You know what that gets you? Donald Trump. If you politicize absolutely everything while you’re in power, expect an equally forceful reaction.
In the ten years that I have been deeply involved in politics – and this includes intimate organizing within the Tea Party movement – I have met countless conservatives who truly wanted to limit government. Sure, there were also many hypocrites who simply wanted “their guy” in power. But I know a lot of people who eventually acquiesced to Trump not because they agreed with him on policy, but because they were sick of being denigrated and essentially said, “Screw it, if they’re gonna go after me through politics, I’m gonna do the same damn thing to them.” It became a proxy culture war.
And as for me, though it may seem counterintuitive, I moved to the center of it all not to empower one authoritarian side over the other, but specifically to break down the incredibly dangerous monopoly a too-powerful government has over everyone’s lives. To me, it doesn’t matter who’s at the helm if the end result is either side of one totalitarian coin.
There is no good reason that the people who participated in the Women’s March and the people who celebrated Trump’s swearing-in should be enemies, absent both sides trying to force each other into their preferred molds. Want real democracy? Limit government and allow for the abundance of endless choice that comes with true freedom. Only then will we be released from the division and antagonism that currently permeates American life.