Opinion

Liberals Are Right That Getting Fit May Turn You Right-Wing

Have you heard of the idea that getting fit might turn you conservative or worse yet, into a full-blown racist? The first time this concept seemed to really break through was in a savagely mocked article from MSNBC:

This idea has appeared in a few other places since then, but over at the Guardian, there’s a new article called, “Getting fit is great – but it could turn you into a rightwing jerk” that revisits this notion. Here’s the crux of the case that left-wing author Zoe Williams makes on this subject:

But there is a dark side to wellness, which I always, for shorthand, thought of as political: getting fit makes you more rightwing. The mechanism is incredibly simple: you embark on this voyage of self-improvement, and more or less immediately see results. You feel stronger and more energetic, probably your mood lifts, and pretty soon you think you are master of your own destiny. You’re still not, by the way: destiny does not care about your step count.

Inescapably, you start to situate other people’s problems within their failure to be as fit as you. This is particularly true if you don’t know them and they’re just a bunch of numbers. All those statistics – depressed people, obese people, people with IBS – imagine how much better they would be if only they took responsibility for their health, the way that you have.

…The only reason I can make all these insulting, highly personal remarks is that they are directed at myself. However obnoxious you’ve been, cycling through a red light, high on very low levels of endorphins because you weren’t going that fast, I’ve been worse. However much you have spent on a pair of leggings, convinced that you’re a yoga bunny now, a completely fresh person, calm and self-actualised, I’ve spent more, and given up faster. However long you’ve spent droning on, trying to make a philosophical case for a climbing wall, I’ve definitely done that for longer – which is to say, five minutes, which must have felt like five years.

In the fullness of time, I realise it’s not really a question of an unwitting slide into fascism, hastened by a treadmill. It’s more that there is a fixed amount of excellence in any self, and the more you spend on your biceps, the less you have for your personality. Wellness could turn you into a bit of a jerk, is what I’m saying.

So, a couple of side notes here.

First of all, the vibe you get from this is sort of that Zoe Williams put a lot of time into being fit and decided she wants to get lazy and this is how she’s justifying it. You know, “Oh, bollocks! I don’t want to spend so much time working out that I lose my personality and become Mussolini! I better go get some McDonald’s and cancel my gym membership.” Potentially amusing, but not that important.

On the other hand, her tagline on this article seemed like a bit of a Freudian slip for a liberal to make, “The more self-actualised you become, the higher you are on self-righteousness, blaming other people’s problems on their failure to be as healthy as you.”

If you’re not familiar with self-actualization, it’s a concept made famous by Abraham Maslow. At some point in your life, you have probably seen this hierarchy of needs pyramid before:

Becoming self-actualized is fulfilling your potential. It is, in the immortal words of that legendary Army slogan, trying to, “Be all that you can be”:

In other words, what she’s saying is that you shouldn’t try to become the best version of yourself because if you do, it’s likely to make you conservative.

Guess what?

IN A VERY GENERAL SENSE, she’s absolutely right about that.

Granted, you will see liberals and conservatives in every conceivable category, but they’re not evenly distributed across those categories because of the nature of liberalism and conservatism.

Conservatism is for people who think our Constitution, our traditions, our customs, our ways of doing things, and the way our world works are generally worth preserving and they have an opportunity to succeed in it. Liberals look at those very same things and go, “This is for the birds! It doesn’t work for someone like me! We need to break the current system down and create a different world that rewards people who are like me instead!”

We’re not strictly talking about the government here either.

In our society, a high value is put on being fit and athletic. People like that are generally considered to be healthier, better looking, more disciplined, and more admirable than the rest of us. This is why if you’re fit and athletic, you’re more likely to want to preserve a system that rewards people like you and think well of yourself for building that kind of body. On the other hand, if you’re a body positivity advocate who’s 200 pounds overweight and believes that being fat isn’t unhealthy, you’re highly likely to be a liberal.

AGAIN, it’s important to note that this trend is far from absolute. There are lots of conservatives who care nothing about being fit and liberals who are obsessed with eating whole foods and having abs, but it’s generally true.

The reason this is important is you will see this way of thinking pop up over and over again.

For example, you could make a good case that if you picked the people who are REALLY at the top of our society’s totem pole, they would be extremely beautiful women. So, what is the very crude cliché we see repeated over and over again in politics?

I’m not making any comment on the looks of the women on either side of this graphic, but I will say there is definitely some truth to this stereotype.

Think about other groups in our society and the way they’re stereotypically perceived.

Are these people who feel like they’re winning or losing? Are they people who feel like they’re moving toward their ultimate potential or being thwarted from getting there?

You tell me.

How do you think the military leans? Small business owners? Capitalists? Pastors? Hard workers? Millionaires? Bodybuilders?

What about criminals? Welfare recipients? The mentally ill? Satanists? Lazy people? The homeless? Junkies?

Show me a hapless, pathetic, contemptible failure in every way and more often than not, you will see a liberal. Look at these ANTIFA mugshots and it will make more sense to you:

Once you start thinking in these terms, a lot of things that liberals do that seem obviously counter-productive begin to make sense. You see, many liberals WANT PEOPLE TO FAIL because if you fail, you’re more likely to become liberal and vote to give them power.

So, for example, why do liberals love giving out overly generous welfare benefits with no time limits attached to them? Why do they encourage people to act like victims? Why do they incessantly trash and tear down successful people? Why do they want radicals and weirdos teaching in schools? Why do they coddle criminals and refuse to punish crime? Celebrate drag queens? Confuse kids about their gender? Push fat positivity wackos who insist being overweight isn’t bad for your health? Encourage drug use?

Many people look at the dysfunction those things create and go, “Why would anyone do this?” The answer, at least in part, is that dysfunction will turn more people into liberals. It’s like asking why McDonald’s keeps running ad campaigns designed to get people to eat Big Macs even though it is obviously bad for them. It might be bad for them, but McDonald’s needs that to happen to survive just as liberals need armies of broken, hapless, immoral people to stay viable. The flip side of this, if you’re a conservative, is that it benefits you for as many people in our society to be healthy, happy, competent, self-reliant, moral, and highly successful via their own efforts as possible. The more closely that description fits a group of people, the more likely they are to ultimately become conservative.

The more people that understand this, the better off our whole society will become.


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