Freedom, truth and society suffer when everything is politicized

Robert J. Samuelson’s column that Joe Coletti posted contains the following:

“Once politics was about only a few things; today, it is about nearly everything,” writes the eminent political scientist James Q. Wilson in a recent collection of essays (“American Politics, Then and Now”). The concept of “vital national interest” is stretched. We deploy government casually to satisfy any mass desire, correct any perceived social shortcoming or remedy any market deficiency.

The perils of politicizing everything is a recurring topic on The Locker Room. Why is politics one of the two topics to avoid in polite company (religion being the other)? Because politics is instantly divisive. When nonpolitical things are politicized, it contributes to polarizing society needlessly.

I say “needlessly” because I am not a socialist. Socialists cannot allow anything to extend beyond the political realm because their philosophy is all about enslaving everything to politics. The “political correctness” movement is the corrosive front of this sick movement. You name it — food, music and the arts, even sports, and Barack knows, religion — and it must be yoked to the political message du jour. (Leave it to the humorless Left to politicize even Rule 34: If it exists, there must be a socialist message to it.) It includes, by the way, making political theater out of some tragedies over others and wildly disparate messages mere weeks apart over heated political language.

Politicizing these things doesn’t “solve” them, however. When the political class inserts itself into things outside their natural realm, they make a predictable mess. And then, in the deplorable spirit of politics, they blame their political enemies for the mess and never question the original, highly flawed assumption that the thing needed politicization in the first place.

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...