On the Two Political Tribes Available in Mainstream America

I am not a liberal, as they are just as oblivious to oligarchy—not to mention the ongoing ecological collapse—as conservatives. And the new liberalism is rife with postmodernist, circular nonsense. No time for that. But I will say that liberals mostly try to understand conservatives’ arguments, while conservatives make no such effort, not even as a token gesture. I saw a meme going around that said something to the effect of “neither side is stupid,” as a plea for understanding and civility between Democrats and Republicans. Sorry, but one side is attempting to use facts (which usually aren’t true, hence “attempting”) while the other side proudly rejects facts as a basis for argument, remaining steadfastly ignorant of basic reasoning. I’ll let you guess which side is which. There can be no common ground between such fundamentally opposed schemata: one being mendacious, the other being willfully numb to reality, and both being ultimately insidious. But just because two sides are in opposition, that doesn’t mean the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Sometimes one side is just wrong. And sometimes both sides are wrong.

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2 thoughts on “On the Two Political Tribes Available in Mainstream America

  1. And sometimes there is some modicum of truth to both sides but they are completely oblivious to their assumptions and the values upon which their arguments are based, values which are usually completely relative and in such a case I think arguing with the goal in mind to determine who is “right” is misguided. Often what it is is conflicting world views and an inability to fully understand the implications of one’s beliefs. For example, there are some liberals who automatically believe that people who are rich and companies that are successful are necessarily so at the expense of others, often stated in terms of the zero-sum exploitation of workers. They seem to think that work itself is exploitative; they think that society should feed them from a bottle and they should live in a labor-less utopia where no one should survive at the expense of their dignity. But I have never seen someone who passionately believed this to admit this as its underlying basis. I suspect that believing anything passionately is automatically at the expense of clarity and the ability to assess the questionable assumptions of the belief. Perhaps the major problem with politics at large is that those involved in it believe too much; to not take a strong and unyielding stance is seen as a weakness.

  2. “For example, there are some liberals who automatically believe that people who are rich and companies that are successful are necessarily so at the expense of others, often stated in terms of the zero-sum exploitation of workers. They seem to think that work itself is exploitative;…” I’m not a capital-L liberal as I said, but I am in this camp! On a finite planet, how can the wealth of one not categorically diminish that of another? And how can one define “deserve”?

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