My favorite song is Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”, as mentioned at the front page of this website. It is how I do politics. Now, in the context of religion and nonprofits I work with lots of Republicans. I should extoll what my political theology is. I became a liberal as a child and the context is quite important. It was in the context of the Iraq War, a war where hundreds of thousands of civilians died and even the combatants on the other side found themselves there out of poverty.
Now, the Republicans did not weep at their deaths or feel intense grief at the orphan factory that was that war. It is one thing to believe the war had to happen and quite another to cheer it on jingoistically. To me, it was nothing less than obscene. My criticism of the left in the forthcoming years would be similiar. The vindictive vigilantism of the #metoo movement with its lack of grace, mercy, or empathy to the lives they were destroying over the most asinine of transgressions.
My foremost cause in politics has always been the same: love. And the foremost element of that is peace. I started my politics wanting peace and that never changed. I mention Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” because, being a happy ending to Romeo & Juliet, it is about a successful peace negotiation. To be the Romeo figure in that song was to be a Tallyrand or a Metternitch. To be a man with the political skills I wanted and married to a doppelgänger of an eighteen-year-old Taylor Swift.
There is a grand poetry to the anti-war movment that doesn’t exist in other realms of activism. The aim of universal fraternity carries with it a far more poetic vibe than that of economic socialism or identity politics. It is the most spiritual. A poetry and spirituality that was not shared by most others on the left. They did not see beauty in making-out in no-man’s-land to the horror of the kings and generals on either side. That just wasn’t how they got down, right or left.
I was unaware of it but the strain of left-wing activism I adhered to was a minority. I went to The Evergreen State College believing it would be one big Uniterian Universalist congregation rather than the militant rage-filled identitarians which constituted its populace. They weren’t there for peace and love. They didn’t metaphorically masturbate to the Christmas Truce of 1914 or the Cellist of Sarajevo or had fantasies of sticking a flower in a gun like I did. They had fantasies of shooting guns. They wanted a war.
And therein was why I had God and they did not. Because there is an ethereal beauty to my politics that is absent in theirs for peace and fraternity are intangible phenomena like God that to believe in and to seek is the same as having a religion. They believed only in the material world, its economics, and its sociology.