Why I Am a Liberal

2617 WordsMar 18, 201111 Pages
Remember when you were a child, in the typical playground scenario, were you the bully, the victim, or the bystander? Sounds like an innocuous question. Perhaps overly simplistic. But it reveals the very essence of the point. How you feel politically and philosophically now is a reaction to what happened to you on that playground then. So you're an adult now, eh? Yeah, well so what. How much has really changed? Things may be much more evolved, likely much more sophisticated, elaborate, and convoluted -- clearly there's a lot less shoving and crying going on -- but the central problem remains essentially the same. In this world, where two or more people become involved, the situation can result in a familiar and tragic formula, a…show more content…
On the other hand, the one who takes it, he may suffer but he may endure and may even prevail. And yet, there are countless instances when he may choose to persist in quietly carrying the load... until he eventually perishes under its ever-growing weight. Natural selection favors the guy whose genes drive him to have the correct reactions. If you happen to be the bystander, your success comes from knowing not to get involved or not to get too involved, lest you yourself become an actual bully or a victim. You may even be blessed with the cherished gift of self-denial, and in such case, you are able to dismiss any vague notions that your inaction makes you complicit in the bully's trespass. Still you are human: you have an opinion, you have feelings about the matter. Maybe you sympathize with one of the sides. Maybe you wish you had the guts to be that way. Maybe you're just afraid you'll get hurt. Maybe you have something to lose; maybe that something is so valuable you're not willing to gamble it. Maybe you simply feel guilty for not getting involved. Or, maybe all you feel is relief -- relief that it's not you. Makes no difference, the bystander just stands there. Hence the name. Oh, you may be emotionally conflicted, but being a bystander is really the safest place to be. Consequently, bystanders often opt to remain bystanders. Which brings us to the bully. If you find yourself to be a bully, it may just be situational. You may normally
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