Monday, January 9, 2012

Taking the Red Pill....

Your worldview is shaped by the sum total of the events and people that have impacted your life thus far. By the time you reach adulthood your life rolls along down a rut of your own creation, and its very difficult to dislodge most people from their worldview rut. Because of this, arguing worldview with people is difficult or pointless. It's the reason I don't argue with theists anymore. At some level in their thinking they do not accept reason and evidence in the fundamental things, the way I do. But even these people can be moved if they harbour any doubts at all.
Its true in politics as well. Generally arguments are pointless and only deepen the ruts if beliefs are firmly held.
People that drastically change their views may have been hiding something that allows them to make the change abruptly. Some good advice given in Shakespeare's Hamlet works here, "To thine own self be true." 

In the movie The Matrix the hero, Neo, takes the red pill to affirm his hidden suspicions and finally accept reality as it is. He was true to himself, but he was likely halfway there already.

So it is with the announcement this weekend by a veteran Toronto newspaper writer and editor who came out of the closet, as he put it, and declared himself a libertarian. Like Neo he was finally true to himself as well, it was just a matter of announcing it.
Of course this still takes courage, maybe less so when you are established in your career, but never underestimate how such a declaration seems to make horns sprout from your head in the view of some people.
Over the years, the generally held view of members of my party has been to seek out those people who are already leaning toward libertarianism, and help them screw their courage to the sticking post, to use a Shakespearean metaphor (this time from Macbeth). Literally, to help them take the Red Pill by offering it to them. I think this is a good time to come out, the lines are being drawn and closets tend to be stuffy.       

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