I have a friend who I really admire (I shan’t gush too much – he’s probably reading this).
And he’s also a member of a certain (mainstream) political party.
And when we were talking on the weekend about a project I am involved in that involves political action/education/lobbying etc he really struggled to understand – or maybe I am being unfair? – the why and how of someone being intensely “political”/activist-y without being in one of the tribes.
It’s not an unusual thing. If you are not a joiner, you make people nervous. They assume that you are bidding your time before you do, finally, succumb to the cloying embrace of Discipline, Loyalty and Visible Party Lines.(1) They assume that if you criticise Eurasia, you must be an agent of Oceania. Or Eastasia – whoever the official enemy is these days…
I understand it, and the only way, I suspect, to have them grudgingly admit it is to spend years (decades?!) beavering away unaffiliated.
(1) I hasten to add, though, that admired friend is a truly independent thinker!!