... the truth is that we are a deeply divided nation and are likely to remain one for a long time. By all means, let’s listen to each other more carefully; but what we’ll discover, I fear, is how far apart we are. For the great divide in our politics isn’t really about pragmatic issues, about which policies work best; it’s about differences in those very moral imaginations...A CLASSIC STRAW MAN ARGUMENT.
... the real challenge we face is not how to resolve our differences — something that won’t happen any time soon — but how to keep the expression of those differences within bounds.
What are the differences I’m talking about?
One side of American politics considers the modern welfare state — a private-enterprise economy, but one in which society’s winners are taxed to pay for a social safety net — morally superior to the capitalism red in tooth and claw we had before the New Deal. It’s only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate.
The other side believes that people have a right to keep what they earn, and that taxing them to support others, no matter how needy, amounts to theft. That’s what lies behind the modern right’s fondness for violent rhetoric: many activists on the right really do see taxes and regulation as tyrannical impositions on their liberty.There’s no middle ground between these views.
... Commentators who pine for the days of civility and bipartisanship are, whether they realize it or not, pining for the days when the Republican Party accepted the legitimacy of the welfare state, and was even willing to contemplate expanding it.
AND OFF THE MARK: THERE ARE MANY SHADES OF GREY IN NEARLY EVERY DEBATE THIS NATION ENGAGES IN ON EVERY FRONT. (SADLY, MOST OF THE INTERESTING DEBATE HAPPENS TO BE WITHIN THE RIGHT - AS THE LEFT HAS DEVOLVED!)
for the most part, managed to agree on certain ground rules in the abortion controversy: it’s acceptable to express your opinion and to criticize the other side, but it’s not acceptable either to engage in violence or to encourage others to do so.
What we need now is an extension of those ground rules to the wider national debate.
NO GOP OR CONSERVATIVE POL' HAS EVER ADVOCATED VIOLENCE OR ENCOURAGED OTHERS TO DO SO - MANY LEFTISTS HAVE.
INCITING VIOLENCE IS A CRIME.
KRUGMAN SHOULD KNOW THIS.
- PERHAPS ON SOME LEVEL HE DOES, BUT HIS PARTISAN ZEAL AND THE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE HE SUFFERS FROM BECAUSE HIS LEFTIST IDEOLOGY HAS UTTERLY FAILED PREVENTS HIM FROM SEEING AND/OR ACCEPTING THE TRUTH.
- IF THE NYTIMES WERE HALF THE PAPER IT WAS 30 YEARS AGO, THEN THEY'D BE EMBARRASSED BY CRAP LIKE THIS COLUMN - AND MOST COLUMNS FROM THIS LEFTIST HACK.
- IF THE LEFT WOULD LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND HONESTLY LOOK AT HISTORY AND THE REAL RESULTS OF LEFTIST POLICIES, THEN THEY'D SEE THAT WHAT THEY ADVOCATE IS HARMFUL; TO THE GOALS AND DREAMS THEY CLAIM THEY DESIRE.
- I DID LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND REEXAMINE WHAT I HAD BEEN TAUGHT AND THE ACTUAL EFFECTS OF LEFTIST POLICIES THROUGHOUT HISTORY AND AROUND THE WORLD.
- INTELLECTUAL HONESTY DEMANDED THAT I ACCEPT THAT REAGAN AND THATCHER WERE RIGHT AND THAT SOCIALISM IN ALL IT'S FORMS WAS A FAILURE.
- EVEN KRUGMAN SHOULD STILL BE CAPABLE OF THIS.
- I WON'T HOLD MY BREATH.
- DENIAL IS POWERFUL AND ADMITTING ONE IS WRONG IS MORE DIFFICULT - AND WHEN ONE IS IN A COCOON INHABITED BY OTHER LEFTISTS - WHOSE DENIAL REINFORCES YOURS - THE TASK IS ALL THE MORE DIFFICULT.
BY HEARING BOTH SIDES, A CRACK WILL EMERGE IN THE ARMOR OF DENIAL, AND THE POSSIBILITY FOR PERSONAL CHANGE ENTERS.
THIS IS WHY THE LEFT SO VOCIFEROUSLY ATTACKS THE RIGHT-WING MEDIA:
THEY FEAR HAT IF THEIR ADHERENTS START TO WATCH, THAT THEY WILL THEN BEGIN TO SEE THE LIGHT, AND THAT THIS WOULD BE THE BEGINNING OF THE END.
THEY'RE RIGHT. IT WOULD BE.