A week of soap boxes

Where is the expression "Soap Box" comes from?. Through the 19th and early 20th century, soap was distributed boxed in woden crates. Often political or activist figures would take one of these crates and use it as an impromptu stage to address people in public places. Over time it has become associated with the idea of grandstanding, and over the last week there have been people from different parts of the world and different political persuations taking the soap box to proclaim what they believe to be true.

From Rashidah Tlaib and Ilhan Omar still milking Netanyahu's ban to their entry into Israel, to Cristina Kirchner accussing current Argentinean President of harrassment for mentioning the corruption during Kirchner's Presidency, to President Trump stating that Jews voting Democrat are either ill informed of disloyal.

Every one of them was completely convinced of what they were saying - but I have my doubts. I have noticed for the last several years how politics is becoming more and more a game of the extremes rather than a game of compromise.

But the mission of the State is to promote the wellbeing of all its citizens. Wellbeing, however, can be interpreted differently in different cultures. And in multicultural societies, that means that wellbeing can have a different meaning for different groups of citizens. So how does the State address these differences? - by finding a middle ground that satisfies the expectations of as wide as possible segment of its citizens.

What purpose then serves the grandstanding we are witnessing? In my opinion, no social purpose whatsoever. If there is a purpose, it is a purpose far removed from the mission of the modern political state and should therefore have no place in the political discourse. So when you hear people grandstanding for the sake of their own needs and not those of society... just tune them out, and focus on what matters: a political State that takes care of all its citizens.


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