Remember in middle school playing dodge-ball and having to pick sides. I do. I was the second smallest kid in my school and didn’t know how to throw, I was picked last. Sports day though, when there would be track and field events, I was picked first. I have always been a runner and have always been fast. I just had an artistic intellectual old man as an old man who I don’t think knew how to throw either. I digress.
Picking teams is always a difficult challenge. Not only do you need different players for different positions, they all need to communicate effectively with each other. Let’s look through the lens of cycling. Almost everyone knows what a bicycle is and most people have tried to ride one at one time or another. It’s a coming of age activity for most people rich and poor outside of urban centers.
However, the differences between a Tour de France rider, a downhiller, a trials rider, a fixie rider, a BMXer, a mountain biker, a bike packer and a leisure riding around the park are as big as those between water, beer, cola, juice, coffee and whiskey. Once you label them as liquids, their similarities become few and far between.
So if you had to pick a team of cyclists, it might be more difficult than you imagine. The vocabulary, style and bikes are all different. The TdF rider looks at cycling through the lens of performance and science. The leisure rider looks only through the lens of fun while the downhiller looks through the lens of go big or go home. At one level they are the same. Two wheeled pedaled vehicles. At another, completely different and it would be hard to lead a team of cyclists one from each group.
Politics is the same. The GOP and Right were smart. They may seem racist but by design they are just primarily white. The GOP is composed mostly of white Christians both rich and poor. They all speak a common language and have similar beliefs. If you were a human who suddenly appeared and had to pick, the GOP would ask you two questions? One, what do you think about abortion? And what do you think about Gay marriage? If you answer, pro-life and against, you would be welcomed with open arms. I get that it’s more complicated but I’m not sure by how much.
The Left and the Dems are harder to pinpoint. They are made up of all marginalized groups and most of the highly educated who are not Christian or driven by their faith. Think about that for a second. The GOP are the Christian right who are rich and poor, educated or not, and have similar belief structures and therefore a common language. The Left are the highly educated and the marginalized and the problem is language.
What makes the GOP so powerful is that they stand together and communicate effectively amongst themselves. What they lack in logic and purpose, they make up for in unity and conformity.
When Bernie was in the running, the Left was a force because what we lacked in unity and conformity, we made for in logic and purpose. The problem with the Left are the highly educated condescending centrists that think they know best but can only devise the slogan of Not Trump. They are frauds. They are Alyssa Milano, Rober DeNiro, Lori Loughlin and Mark Hamills of the party. They are the Karens, Tom Perezs, HRCs and Pelosis of the party. They are not of the party or of the people, they are strictly of themselves.
But the problem for the rest of us is language. We don’t speak a common one. With Bernie at the helm we did. It was simple. M4A, UBI and Education are human rights and here is the plan and policy to make these things law. Now, we are just infighting with each other and the only ones who lose are the marginalized groups that a few months ago were united for purpose.
The way to move forward would be to fix this problem and find the similarities that connect us rather than focus on our lack of knowledge of the differences. I listed a bunch of different types of cyclists. In the end though, all cyclists start off the same. If you were like me, you started with training wheels, had them removed, crashed and got back up and figured it out.
We need to start with the training wheels. If you are communicating with someone different than you, the connection or intersection between your two lives is there for a purpose of good. Explore, argue and fight until you discover it. Don’t be so quick to close the door. There is a reason for everything, it is up to us to discover what it is.
As a cyclist I recognize the language I use can either connect me to other people on bikes or disconnect me from them. As the master cyclist it is my job to educate the newer cyclists and not expert them to know all the nuance and history of the sport. Autistics, POC, LGBTQ+, poor and those with PHDs do not expect everyone to know what you are a master at. It is our responsibility to educate the masses about our differences so that we are united for a common purpose and it is our responsibility to learn from each other so that change can be upon us.
- All works at Observations from the Spectrum written by Dylan Netter
- On? a third point of view – book of Essays
- Marinehippie.com podcast w/ Docstodden.com – dialogue exploring politics and musings of life
- Horizoncoaching.org – English Tutor and Guide