The unbridgeable difference in how two sides see the world and human nature.
Those who lament the “partisan divide” in Congress are missing the point. This is not about partisanship, it is about, to borrow Thomas Sowell’s phrase, a “conflict of visions.” Proof of this is that those who have no reason to be partisan – my favorite cousin, for example – falls right into line with Democrat Party policies on quite literally every issue. In fact, tell me but a single belief of one of my friends or neighbors (people with no reason to go against their own beliefs for the sake of the party) and I can tell you every other policy he supports or opposes.
If, for example, you were to tell me that you believe that global warming is real and manmade, I can predict to perfection that you support Obama’s healthcare scheme, opposes the immigration bill in Arizona and elsewhere and perceive across-the-board tax cuts as “tax cuts for the rich.” On the other hand, tell me that you recognize manmade global warming to be the hoax that it is, and I can predict to perfection that you supported the liberation of the Iraqi people, are a strong supporter of Israel and understand that raising taxes on the most successful is a recipe for disaster.
What seems like a “partisan divide” is really a fundamental and unbridgeable difference in how the two sides see the world, their understanding of mankind and of human nature. Most fundamental to this difference is how one understands the condition of the human being at the moment of his birth.
The Modern Liberal – the dominant ideology in today’s Democrat Party – believes that the human being is born morally perfect. If left alone – uncorrupted by society – he would grow up to be a morally perfect person, someone who would do all the right things because such is his nature. The conservative – the dominant ideology in today’s Republican Party – recognizes that the child is born with the propensity for both good and evil (and everything in between) and thus needs outside influences to encourage him to tamp down the evil instincts and to pursue that which is good.
Since the Modern Liberal believes the human being is born morally perfect, he is convinced that utopia is not only possible, but easily achieved. All that is required to usher in a “brotherhood of man” (John Lennon’s phrase in the Modern Liberal anthem “Imagine”) is to retard the child’s moral and intellectual growth at a level prior to his being corrupted by society. Further, the Modern Liberal is convinced, that when someone does something wrong – anything from dropping out of school to rape, torture and genocide – it must be because he was somehow victimized. “To those with this vision,” Thomas Sowell writes, “the criminal is twice victimized. First, by whatever special circumstance provoked his crime and then by those who lust to see him punished.” (Emphasis added.)
Since the wrong-doer is the victim, the Modern Liberal’s sense of “justice” requires him to reward the criminal in a sort of “stick-and-carrot” approach that is the very opposite of common sense and all of human history. This is why Barack Obama, for example, believes that he can get the Islamic world to stop its murderous ways if only he bows down before their leaders, offers up apologies for America’s policies and forces Israel into an ever smaller ghetto. Obama – and those who share his Modern Liberal ideology – believe that, if only they can remove the “provocations” that simply must exist and simply must be the cause of these otherwise morally perfect human beings doing such horrific things, then the Islamists will show their “true” character.
Further, if you don’t believe this, you are not merely wrong in your policy, you are evil in your soul. After all, to conclude that those born morally perfect in the Middle East are somehow different than those born morally perfect anywhere and everywhere else, is a form of bigotry. You simply must support the Democrats’ policies to strengthen Islam, to invent a (false) narrative so that they feel better about themselves and the undermining of Israel because, if you don’t, you are an evil Islamophobe.
The Right Thinker, on the other hand, recognizing that the human being is born capable of good and evil and all of its permutations pursues policies that are diametrically opposed to the Modern Liberal’s. His policies are based on the logical and time-tested “carrot-and-stick” model where by good behavior is encouraged with rewards while bad behavior is punished (if only by the withholding of those rewards.) Rather than seek to prevent further Islamic terror attacks by kowtowing to the terrorists and making them feel better about themselves, the Right Thinker seeks to prevent further attacks by weakening the forces of terror. He stands strong with the liberal democracy of Israel, supports revolutions in Iran and Syria, and, if need be, supports wars that lessen the terrorists’ abilities to mount another attack.
So let’s for a moment stipulate that both the Democrat and the Republican in office wishes to prevent another 9/11-like attack. The Democrat will seek to do so with policies that remove the “provocation” and make the terrorists feel better about themselves. The Right Thinker will pursue policies that weaken the terrorists and make them “feel” less good about their murderous ways. The differing policies are not “partisan,” they are ideological. They go to the very heart of what each side believes about the nature of man and there is no middle ground. Are we supposed to be nice to the terrorists on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and fight then on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday? Are we to support Israel on odd-numbered days and work to force them into an ever shrinking ghetto on the even-numbered ones?
This “conflict of visions” is not limited to foreign policy. It is the entirety of the “partisan wrangling” in Washington and the culture war in our schools, media, entertainment industry and beyond. The Modern Liberal, sees success and goodness as proof that the good and successful have had some unfair advantage and thus, out of a sense of justice, need to be brought down a peg while the evil, failed and wrong have been victimized and thus justice demands they be rewarded. After all, if everyone is born morally perfect, something must have made the bad guys bad (poor babies!)