I lived with a woman who didn't like much about me but the sex was amazing.
I worked for a woman who didn't think much of my producing skills but loved how hard I worked.
The only time I could escape the glare of quotidian disapproval was either in the car or on the train in between home and work.
AK (my sometimes brilliant, always entitled and frequently selfish girlfriend) found fault in most everything I did. BR (my decades younger than I but blisteringly book-smart manager) was convinced that her two years of event production trumped my nearly 20 years and didn't quite understand that there is a divarication between administrating an event and producing one.
I was effectively wedged between two extremes, neither who cared anything about my well being and both so focused upon their own selfish agendas that I was merely a means to ends they had fabricated without my input.
Eventually, I extracted myself from both sets of circumstance. These were cages I constructed myself and I can hardly claim victim status. I broke up with AK and moved on. BR was eventually let go, I was promoted and, at least for a while, I got to run the show. That is until someone who views events production much like BR was hired as the CEO, and I find myself once again a mule for a Corporatist agenda.
I bring this up because I feel the same sort of wedge in between the two Tea Parties within American politics. I expect the strident, ideological purity and orthodoxy of the Rightwing Tea Party. They've shown themselves to be self destructively dogmatic and completely uncompromising in their vitriolic, belief-based worldview. With so much I vehemently disagree with—from the dismissal of science as a guide to the refusal to grant basic human rights to every citizen, to the view of the government as something to be minimized, to printing money and building armies—staying away from that Tea Party is a cinch.
I did not expect the Far Left Tea Party—the angry social justice advocates who have the same self-righteous You're With Us or You're the Enemy tactics as the Right. I agree with almost everything this club of enraged soldiers for good stands for—equal rights, equal pay, economic equity, a woman's right to control her body, the right of PoC to not be shot for being non-white, drug legalization and the reliance on science to warn us accurately of our folly—but this club sounds and behaves exactly like the other.
I'm wedged in between revolutionaries who see me as either a weak hippie or an old white man. Hell, I might be described accurately as both. That said, the worst thing I did when I was wedged in between AK and BR was believe them.
I have been, for most of the last 30 years of my life, an advocate for civil rights without regard to race, sex, age, religion or any of the myriad categories that people use to exclude others from fair and equitable treatment in our society. It is the nature of bullies to categorize and use the language of small boxes of identity: Nigger, Faggot, She Male, Hippie, Femi_Nazi, Commie, Racist, Retard, Stupid, Ugly, Fat. And yet, since the election of The Donald, I've been told I am a sexist, a racist, a commie, a race traitor, an old man, a troll, a creeper, an asshole, a Good German, a God. Damn. Socialist.
The worst thing I can do is believe the name calling of the most strident and ideologically rigid. Thus avoiding the wedge between the two Tea Parties. What is relevant and important to remember is that there are a LOT more in the middle than on the fringes of society.