July 17th, 2018 | by Dylan James Harper

Dehumanizing has long been a tactic by many oppressive and imperialist governments, including the United States. It’s something to take seriously. While the negative impact the tactic has had on marginalized communities is well documented, there’s also the passive harm done by shifting blame away from actual human beings to nebulous evil that can’t really be held accountable or responsible. This isn’t a call to start calling politicians rodents or some dark force, but instead to think of them as literally nothing beyond a math equation.


A good example of the antithesis of this is the recent slew of articles from semi-literate professional liberals seeking to reassure other professional liberals that Brett Kavanaugh, who will be the next supreme court justice (if not someone much worse), is a nice guy. There are articles about how he’s a great youth basketball coach, and carpools kids during the summer, and is a great mentor to young legal students, and is just an all around swell guy. Literally none of that matters.


What does matter is the simple arithmetic necessary to figure out that five is a bigger number than four. With Coach Brett on the court, the conservatives will have the majority they need to finally undo Roe v. Wade, plus a bunch of other horrific decisions that will undermine literally any sort of non-reactionary cause. It does not matter how kind of a person he was to someone’s kid, or whether he’s the best darn basketball youth basketball coach this side of the Mason-Dixon Line, he will vote to end legal abortion, erode privacy, and further solidify the firm grasp corporations have over the regulatory bodies meant to keep them in check.


The same goes for literally every politician. It doesn’t matter how nice, engaging, or friendly these people are, how supportive they are to their families and friends, how deep their knowledge of pop culture. If they won’t vote in the way you want, they are meaningless to you. Their winning smile will not help you when your healthcare has been gutted and you’re desperately trying to figure out a way to get your elderly parent the cancer treatment they need. The reverse is true as well. Trump’s repellent personality is completely meaningless. The fact that he and the republicans have viciously utilized the executive branch to wield all political power against the marginalized, disenfranchised, and generally vulnerable is all that matters.


This is a surprisingly hard lesson for some people to learn. Politics is a game of catharsis and it’s difficult not to want to see yourself in the politicians who rule over you, or at least view them as people just like you are. Materially, however, they are not people; they are just numbers in the math equation that determines everything about your life, and just like your favorite numbers doesn’t always produce the correct answer to a math problem, your favorite politician does not always improve your life just because you like them.

Dylan James Harper is the Political Editor for
Read more from Dylan at

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