Which of these two narratives most closely matches your political perspective?I don't really see this entirely as tribalism. My family unit would probably be my closest tribe, and yet political opinions vary widely. And my views have changed radically in a relatively short period of time. I do believe that wanting to belong in a group can convince somebody to hew to stronger beliefs than the would otherwise, to try to fit in well. That is why I think converts to a religion are so often hardcore believers. However, my politics feel more contrarian these days, at least locally, so maybe I'm trying to exert independence from the group or maybe it is because of my doubt in the wisdom of crowds. I'm not quite sure.
Once upon a time people lived in societies that were unequal and oppressive, where the rich got richer and the poor got exploited. Chattel slavery, child labor, economic inequality, racism, sexism and discriminations of all types abounded until the liberal tradition of fairness, justice, care and equality brought about a free and fair society. And now conservatives want to turn back the clock in the name of greed and God.
Once upon a time people lived in societies that embraced values and tradition, where people took personal responsibility, worked hard, enjoyed the fruits of their labor and through charity helped those in need. Marriage, family, faith, honor, loyalty, sanctity, and respect for authority and the rule of law brought about a free and fair society. But then liberals came along and destroyed everything in the name of “progress” and utopian social engineering.
Although we may quibble over the details, political science research shows that the great majority of people fall on a left-right spectrum with these two grand narratives as bookends. And the story we tell about ourselves reflects the ancient tradition of “once upon a time things were bad, and now they’re good thanks to our party” or “once upon a time things were good, but now they’re bad thanks to the other party.” So consistent are we in our beliefs that if you hew to the first narrative, I predict you read the New York Times, listen to progressive talk radio, watch CNN, are pro-choice and anti-gun, adhere to separation of church and state, are in favor of universal health care, and vote for measures to redistribute wealth and tax the rich. If you lean toward the second narrative, I predict you read the Wall Street Journal, listen to conservative talk radio, watch Fox News, are pro-life and anti–gun control, believe America is a Christian nation that should not ban religious expressions in the public sphere, are against universal health care, and vote against measures to redistribute wealth and tax the rich.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Evolution And Politics?
Posted by A Farmer at 5:54 AM