I was watching Daredevil last night and I had this idea about politics, and it’s not super well-thought out but I thought I’d run it by you guys. The idea is that conservatives and liberals both have their own spheres of expertise, and arguments happen when they overstep their boundaries and get in each other’s way. I had this idea of nations (or even villages or whatever) as a soft center with a hard defensive ring around it.
A liberal’s sphere would be the soft center. The liberal makes sure the village (or whatever) is nice to be in. Everybody has a good time, life isn’t extremely unfair, people have rights, there’s public works and projects you can put money into, artists get looked after, the old and the weak are taken care of, stuff like that. A conservative’s sphere would be the hard outer ring, and their job would be to defend the soft center. Being hardasses, sending out warnings to outsiders who get too close, making judgment calls on who should be killed or detained, deciding how raids should be carried out, questioning ideas or plans made by people outside the ring who want to come inside the ring, enforcing rules with the right amount of severity so that the group is protected, that would be their area.
Both groups are perfectly suited for their areas, and totally unsuited for the other’s area. A liberal working in the outer defensive ring would let their empathy run away with them and let outsiders do what they want to the outer ring, thus endangering the entire village. A conservative who dicks around in the soft center would start trying to “lay down the law” on shit he has no idea about, like reproductive systems, Dungeons and Dragons, who’s bangin’ who in an unorthodox manner, what music people can listen to, and pretty soon the soft center would become hellish and unfit to live in.
I think this might be a good system because no one “side” has to beat the other “side”. As it is now, liberals and conservatives are in a desperate deathmatch, but it’s like an MMA fighter against a WWF wrestler in a rap battle. They’re thinking and acting using completely different sets of rules because they see the world in completely different ways. No side can ever “beat” the other side; the only thing they can do is ramp up the intensity of the argument and make things uncomfortable for someone like me. Of course, in order for an idea like this to work, people with opposing views (actually, opposing brain types, I think) would have to be able to chill out and see the value of the opposing side. That doesn’t mean you have to “give in” to the other side, you don’t even have to agree that they might be right, you just have to see their potential value to the tribe.
Like I was saying, I was watching Daredevil (beginning of season 2 so, SPOILER ALERT and also DON’T SPOIL IT FOR ME) and saw the incredible second battle between Daredevil and the Punisher which is followed by a great argument that made me extremely uncomfortable but was so inspiring. Of course the whole thing is Daredevil’s “don’t kill people” philosophy versus Punisher’s “kill bad people so they don’t kill good people” philosophy. Punisher said something incredibly insightful: “You don’t get to pick what makes you whole.” Bam! Right there. It doesn’t matter how much Daredevil argues with him, or how sane and rational he thinks he is, in the end, the Punisher is made for living in the outer defensive ring of the village. He won’t feel alive unless he knows he’s protecting the soft center though incredible acts of unbelievable violence. The series does a great job of showing how disturbing the Punisher’s life is, with crime scene photos of mutilated bodies covered in gore, which is also counterbalanced by seeing criminals running and hiding and fearing for their life (loved seeing that one guy shit his pants when he realized the Punisher really was going to walk into a hospital with a shotgun and blast him – there was nowhere he could hide).
Daredevil made some good arguments too, though – as long as you live in the soft center. There is always good in people, and you have to trust your species and see the good in them. Everyone deserves a chance. Of course, his argument is a little awkward, because he’s fighting crime but not killing anyone, which only makes sense if you have superpowers (most people don’t), and doesn’t really work on the outer defensive ring.
Oh yeah, I also thought this might be a good system to work within just in case of alien invasion, which I think is inevitable. And yes I mean the UFOs from Mars variety (“They said alien and Vasquez thought they said illegal alien…”). It would be better if our different brain types (in this case, liberal and conservative) each knew their appropriate area so that we could work better together against alien invasion, rather than let aliens play both sides against the other while they divide our resources among themselves. I see people having meltdowns now, but in the future, every living person will live deep underground and they’ll look at old photos of us strutting around on the surface of the planet, and while they work on assembly lines to make laser rifles and mini-nukes they will wish that they could have lived in our time – yes, the very time that everyone is currently complaining about. They will wonder what everyone was bitching and moaning about because they will be worried about creatures burrowing down from the surface and possibly attacking one of the child care centers, which is the worst possible scenario for any underground bunker city.