Three times in the last three weeks I’ve had (real life) conversations about political issues, and I’ve been called “idealistic”. As a dismissive, minimising term. “Too idealistic”, “youthfully idealistic”, “your idealism is blinding you to reality”.
On working conditions, for saying that long working hours are an arbitrary social construct, and we’d all be better off if a shorter week and more holidays were the norm. On Gaza, for saying that it is naive of the Israeli right to think that bombing a trapped population is a sustainable security solution; and that meaningful discussions about Palestinian self-determination are the only way to peace. On Hager’s Dirty Politics, for saying that we should demand that the people in charge have a decent measure of personal integrity.
I refuse to buy into the idea that cynicism is sophisticated. It’s not. It’s tired and defeatist. Idealism is the driving force for all progress. How can we ever hope for a better world if its considered foolish even to imagine one, let alone work towards it?