‘The Politicized Life’

September 19, 2013

Via Jim Geraghty, Sonny Bunch at the Washington Free Beacon reflects on culture and politics.

Look, here are the facts of life, my conservative friends: We don’t do the politicized life particularly well. . . .

The left, however, does the politicized life exceptionally well. They mount campaigns to pressure corporations to get what they want. They organize boycotts. They direct their complaints to gatekeepers who share their views and can influence policy. They blacklist artists with whom they disagree and pressure corporations to do the same. . . .

So there will be a lot of fulmination on social media from those on the right about rights and guns and the Constitution, and then a little less the next day, and a little less the day after that, until finally you forgot why you were mad at Starbucks and you stop tweeting and facebooking and kvetching and start buying pumpkin spice lattes by the bucketful and, in a moment of clarity, you’ll think about how silly it was for you to give up Starbucks in the name of something that literally never impacted you in the first place because you don’t have an open-carry permit.

The right is wired different than the left. It’s a healthier wiring, one that leads to far more enjoyment in life and far less heartache.

But it’s a wiring that leaves you particularly poorly equipped to wage these kinds of fights. It’s why you lose. It’s why you’re losing the culture. It’s why Howard Schultz doesn’t fear you.

Elsewhere Bunch explains what he means by “the politicized life”.

What I am saying is that engaging in such behavior—politicizing every aspect of your life, allowing politics to determine your every move, and judging everyone you meet online and in person by how stridently they agree with the positions you support—is immensely, horribly destructive to the very fabric of our society. It inspires mistrust, hate, and fear.

Relatedly, John Fund asks, “‘Why Are Liberals So Rude to the Right?’

3 Responses to “‘The Politicized Life’”

  1. First of all, I’m not fond of people who do anything stridently, including agree with me. The artificial dichotomy of rightness AND leftness seems ridiculous to me. Life isn’t two-sided. Issues aren’t two-sided. I would rather live post-politically. Aside from voting, which I do more often in local than national contests, I try not to politicize my life at all.

  2. Wow, this Sonny Bunch has been reading my files, or my mind! Today I finally posted an entry that I started some ten days ago. I kept opening the document and staring at it because I couldn’t figure out how to express this exact notion. I couldn’t come up with a punchy title. The politicized life! Perfect! The article you quote really says it quite well, and I’m embarrassed that my attempt is so meandering and not at all incisive.

    I don’t agree with his conclusions, though. I don’t think conservatives are losing the culture. We may have lost Facebook, but most Americans think Obamacare and abortion are bad. Interestingly, I’d say those are the sorts of values that spring from a culture with strong families. The conservative culture exists, it is quieter, but I think it is also stronger.

    And there is no way the tradeoff is worth it.

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