Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey

Every day I feel more torn. I'm being split from the left and the right.

After years of giving credence to all issues based on ideology, I'm throwing in the towel and issuing an official statement of non-alignment.

I admit it. I don't know where I stand. You may know your place on the political spectrum, but I haven't a clue, so if you happen to get lost, don't ask me for directions. I've had it.

Every single day of my young academic life, in the discipline known as political studies, I've watched numerous peers fasten themselves to ideologies of the left and right to the point where their views are completely predetermined. I'm sick to death of hearing individuals automatically defend and refute arguments because of their ideological origins rather than synthesize what is being said and actually judge them based on their merits.

If you're one of those who's always predisposed to the left/right, mixed market/free market, socialism/capitalism, one who can say with absolute certainty that your way is always the correct way, then I'd like to propose a question.

What the hell are you doing here?

Wouldn't it be easier to stay at home with your copy of The Wealth of Nations or Das Kapital—whichever floats your boat—and revel in your genius because you know what's REALLY going on. The funny thing is that these are the same people who typically label religious followers as loonies, nutcases who commit so much blind faith to a SINGLE belief.

If I come off as a sanctimonious, I apologize. I used to be a slave to ideology, and given my history, I really don't have the right to criticize. Up until recently I was an aspiring capitalist smasher, born and bred by my parents, who are both teachers, to rid the world of corporate rule and that evil sonofabitch Mike Harris.

Now, I'm trying to be a little more objective. I've watched my housemates in their latest business venture and recognize the virtues of private ownership. I wonder about giving so much of my future earnings to a government that I don't really trust. And just between you and me, sometimes I catch myself questioning teachers - nine to three every day with two months off is a pretty sweet deal, arguably too sweet.

At the same time, I am disgusted that 20 per cent of the world's population consumes 80 per cent of the world's resources, and that everyone on campus is clothed by the labour of Indonesian children.

So where do I fit in?

Truth be told, I think that a lot of us don't know exactly where we belong and that is sort of intimidating. Rather than confront this daunting question of identity we cling to a specific ideology because it's secure. Left or Right is better than nothing, at least it's belonging. And best of all, you don't have to initiate any cerebral activity, just insert the same old formulaic statements.

Mr. Right: Tax cuts stimulate consumption, which creates jobs and frees us from the tyrannical hands of big government

Mr. Left: Tax cuts mean less social programs, further impoverishing the less privileged and polarizing society you immoral bastard!

I think I'll give it some more thought

Me: ???????

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