Men should care about politics because it affects our security and our quality of life.
I’ve noticed that the men I know who care the most about politics also tend to be the most masculine.
This is not to say that all men who care about politics are real mensches. I thought Chris Hayes was Rachel Maddow the first time I saw him on TV (not sure if that’s her fault or his). The male SJW is a topic for another article.
But why do guys who like sports and business and fast cars often care about politics on a much deeper level than other masculine endeavors?
And why do these men lean Right 90% of the time – conservative or libertarian?
I can think of three reasons:
- Self-Preservation: Since government exercises potential control over everyone and everything, a man (especially one with a family) feels obligated to keep an eye on its power.
- Machiavellian Power: Since government has a monopoly on the use of force, it appeals as a career to men who want to dominate other people.
- Principled Reasoning: As Aristotle wrote, the polis arises from our moral nature. Put in modern terms, we care about the treatment of strangers because they are individuals with rights – and as men we feel responsible for regulating the use of force.
The aforementioned men are motivated by #1 and #3 above.
Self-preservation is an art and a duty. Keeping an eye on government’s power means rejecting the main tenet of liberalism – more government power.
Principled reasoning is a challenge and a pleasure for the mind. Conservative and libertarian principles are elegant structures of logic. Democrats abandoned principles long ago for pragmatism and politically correct thought-policing, and now they can’t explain the difference between a liberal and a socialist (neither can I).
Political philosophy is not armchair theorizing. Future governance is determined by ideas. Even if your ideas don’t make sense, they still matter. This is why I interrupt liberals in public all the time. If a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a monsoon in China, a liberal chatterbox might usher Bernie Sanders into the White House.
But there’s a conundrum. The career politician is often motivated by #2 – he’s a Machiavellian power-luster. This is why Republicans who enter Washington as “outsiders” quickly make deals with their liberal foes and become indistinguishable from the establishment. This is why Paul Ryan grew a beard – to preserve some semblance of masculinity while authorizing all of Obama’s spending. This is why Republicans are on the verge of nuking the establishment by nominating Trump.
Regardless of your political views, the 2016 presidential election will have enormous ramifications for your future. Not that you can do anything about it, but worst case scenario, you should know if you need to start hoarding gold, build an underground bunker, or flee to Madagascar. You’ll also build a formidable arsenal of books and avoid spending time on your couch wearing another man’s jersey.