If you’re the type of person who thinks the people who oppose your political viewpoints are evil and secretly hate America, this blog is probably not for you. But if you are someone who is distressed by the divisions in our country, remember: regardless of where you stand politically, the enemy isn’t conservatism or liberalism – it’s extremism. Nobody thinks of themselves as an extremist, but a lot of people think of themselves as loyalists, and in the end, they are pretty much the same thing.
The majority of America is pretty moderate. Most Americans favor freedom over uniformity and are pretty liberal in terms of social policy. However, the majority of Americans have more conservative views when it comes to business policies and free enterprise. Americans reject socialism as a concept but believe everyone should have access to food, housing, education, and healthcare. Most of us are not that far apart.
Of course, that’s not what we see in the media. All we see are the extremes on both sides. The media learned a while back that bad news outsells good news and that viewership is higher for news programs that get us angry and all worked up. If politics makes you feel angry, keep this in mind: The wealthiest and most powerful Americans tend to be politically independent often make political donations to candidates from BOTH parties. Hmmm, why do you think that is? I’ll tell you why. Because they care about themselves more than they do any candidate or political party – and they understand how the game is played.
My point isn’t that politics don’t matter and there aren’t things worth fighting for. Politics matter plenty, but being a political loyalist if you’re not a politician yourself is pretty lame. Even loyalist politicians are known in Washington DC as “ideologues”, and are often dismissed as fanatics by the real power players. Unfortunately, the super-skill that the many successful journalists and politicians share is their ability to turn their followers from thinking constituents into non-thinking fanatics…Don’t be a non-thinking fanatic! If you detest politicians who divide us, that’s a good start. A well-informed, independent-thinking electorate is the last thing most politicians want. Extremism, in all forms, is the enemy.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak at the T3 Conference in Florida…I surprised the audience when I explained how the issue of diversity has been framed incorrectly, and has for the most part alienated the business community.
Elon Musk dropped by the Real Time with Bill Maher show recently for an interview with the host. Maher, who considers himself a liberal is an obvious fan of the CEO of Tesla and Space X. The centerpiece of their conversation was their discussion regarding what Musk called the “woke mind virus” or what I prefer to call “cancel culture”.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.