The Politics of People Dying

When Stephen Paddock massacred people at a country music festival in Las Vegas, both the left and the right showed their ugly side.

On the left, people joked that because the victims were attending a country music festival, they were probably Donald Trump supporters so their deaths were somehow deserved. This basically puts politics ahead of people’s lives, essentially undermining the left’s whole argument that they care about people.

They don’t. The left (and the right) only cares about being the ones in power making choices that others must follow. That’s essentially the process of making laws, but when you place people’s lives as somehow less important than politics, you’re revealing your true self as someone just as uncaring, selfish, and despicable as the other side you rally so much against.

On the right, people were not so strangely quiet on the nature of the gunman. If the gunman had been a Mexican or Muslim, you can be sure people on the right would be quick to claim that the border wall along Mexico could have stopped the disaster or that banning Muslims from the country would have prevented the massacre.

But when the gunman turned out to be an old white man, how come the people on the right didn’t clamor to deport old white man from this country or blame old white men for all the problems currently affecting society?

The reason the right didn’t suddenly demonize old white men is because old white men make up much of the right wing in politics. If they focused on old white men, they would essentially be demonizing themselves, and blaming themselves is the last thing they want to do when it’s so much easier to blame groups of people who are weaker than they are.

It’s always easy to support laws that negatively affect the lives of other people. That’s why so many right wing conservatives have no problems deporting Mexicans or Muslims from this country. As long as other people suffer, the right wing conservatives don’t mind because they benefit from the misery of others.

But right wing conservatives will never pass laws that would cause themselves to suffer, even if their group is to blame (old white man in the case of the Las Vegas shooter). Conservatives only want to pass laws to make others suffer, and that’s the basis of their entire beliefs. Make others suffer so we can live a good life.

The Las Vegas massacre, the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, and the Charleston church shooting were all done by white men, yet nobody has suggested we ban white men from this country for the safety of the public.

Both sides are not innocent in their reaction to the latest mass shooting in Las Vegas, but with the right wing conservatives in power, it’s up to them to craft a reasonable response to protect the safety of everyone, not just their own group that largely consists of white people.

If conservatives were truly interested in protecting the public, their propensity to blame ethnic groups should also demonize white men. Since that hasn’t happened (and never will), you can expect that conservatives (and liberals) simply want their way at the expense of everyone else who doesn’t subscribe to their beliefs.

That means the bulk of Americans are simply selfish people who are quick to blame others for problems and slow to take responsibility for problems they’ve created for others.

This is why democracies die. When people are more interested in perpetuating their own beliefs rather than crafting a coherent, rational response that benefits everyone, you can be certain this country will always be far less than its cherished ideas.

The problem is never just the right or the left, but the people currently in charge. When people finally demand equality just like historical documents like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights claims this country represents, then the world has a chance to become a better place.

Until then, expect people on both sides to put human lives as less important then ideology, and that’s the biggest tragedy that the Las Vegas shooting has created after the deaths of so many innocent people.