What About Me.
With all the chattering in the media – the social media, the news media, the talking heads media, every kind of media you wish to name … One thing seems to be off-limits:
Why the UK voted “Leave”, why the USA voted “Yes Please”, why the consequences are the new reality – and why it is all such a surprise –
You vote to leave the EU – the consequence is that you will no longer be part of that association. You vote for someone who makes clear their preferences – the consequence is those preferences.
What About Me.
The outrage expressed by many against those consequences is countered by the many who voted for those consequences.
This is not a consequence of right or wrong, truth or lie, humanity or inhumanity. This is a consequence of What About Me. The consequence of the EU becoming increasingly unaccountable to those it serves. The consequence of an administration perceived less and less serving of those it serves. A “the system” which says clearly: “We are all equal (except you are not as equal as me)”.
Every country has had – still has – times when they were/are revolting – when it was all about What About Me.
The current outrage is the consequence of a vote which leaves a population evenly split. Both sides are convinced they have won “the argument”. Both sides equally split over “the consequences”. What About Me cuts both ways – moral outrage is not exclusive to right or wrong, to truth or lie, to humanity or inhumanity. Those “truths” are a matter of belief
What About Me
When half a population feels they have been ignored, passed over, taken from but not given to, listened to but never heard, give what is due to and see it squandered, see those “who have” becoming richer at the expense of those “who have not”, sense the moral injustice in all of that – year after year after year – political administration after political administration – vote after vote (that changes nothing) … Is THAT not revolting?
Is that not good reason for moral outrage at THAT injustice?
I watched and heard lies from BOTH sides in the UK referendum. The scare tactics from BOTH sides. The tactical moral outrage … the rehearsed sound-bites … the cynical photo opportunities … the calculating opportunists all circling the pig trough and identifying: “What’s in it for me (when the dust settles)?” I saw “politics as usual” – I saw the (usual) absence of principle. I saw (the usual) “What’s in it for me?” from all sides.
“What’s in it for me?” is NOT the same as “What About Me?”
“What’s in it for me?” is the voice of one already gorging. “What about me?” is the voice of one who is not invited (nor can ever see a meal coming their way).
Right now the global outrage in the USA is of those who see “refugees” as the downtrodden. But the 50% (+/- the usual statistical variances) of the same population perceive themselves to be the downtrodden … in their own country … the country they love …that they call home … And someone has finally said: “What About You?” (no matter how sincere or tactical that may be).
Right now there is media-fed paranoia in the UK – “Hard Brexit” scary may be the outcome – whereas “Soft Brexit” cuddly was what “we” voted for. Really? I cannot recall that being part of the conversation pre-voting. The question was “in or out?” The answer was out. And now the system is feeding back in the usual fear.
The outrage is as tactical as ever. What’s in it for me? The system is deeply entrenched. The system is the system we have all allowed. The policies are the policies we have all allowed. We have all (the vast majority) lived happily believing our vote will not make a difference because the system is the system. And anyway – I am alright Jack. Except now I am not.
“Jack” over there has made the trough his exclusive domain – and my share is not as big as I think it should be.
But might that mean – stripped of 40 tonnes of all we hold dear – the sincere “What About Me” is actually just my down-trodden tactical version of “What’s in it for me”?
Because if that has any truth … all “moral outrage” from all sides is tarnished.
And if “What About Me” and “What’s in it for me” and “What About You” are all just the same currency as different coins …
Isn’t the only alternative to see each as sacred?
Globally … Economically … Spiritually … Humanly … in every way … just “sacred”.
Now why does that sound familiar?