Worst Post Ever!
I still wanted to say something about ancient child-rearing practices, but that will take too long. Therefore I will select what looks like a fairly straightforward question from the cosmic hopper.... Let’s see.... Here’s one from a reader known as The Bunnies:
“I'm curious as to your thoughts on some of our ideological allies in the war on terror who seem also hostile to some of your other beliefs. Objectivists are right on the money when it comes to the war and most economic issues, but they loathe religion and think that it's all horizontal (although I think they think differently than they think they do, but that's another issue). Or, what about Christian fundamentalists who see the need to pursue the war on terror but would damn your religious views as heresy and gladly surrender on every issue if only abortion could be illegal (they exist).”
(Still waiting for coffee to work.)
This is an excellent question, and I suppose it goes to the heart of the genius of our two-party political system. When I was a young idiot, I used to believe the nonsense that we should have many political parties, like Israel or Europe. I thought it was antidemocratic to have just two.
But the whole point of having two parties is like.... it’s sort of like marriage.... no, not really. Well, maybe. I know that in Europe, they also don’t take the two-party marriage seriously, and men are almost expected to have mistresses.
Obviously, having a two-party system works counter to the extreme factionalism we see in Europe. If America were like Germany, we would have dozens of parties--a Randian Objectivist Party, A Pro-Life Party, an Anti-gun Party, and a party of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Questioning, Intersexed, and Curious, all having proportionate representation in the government.
So the two-party system makes for some strange bedfellows. But when you think about it, there does seem to be some kind of deep psychological structure that determines one’s surface political attitudes. In other words, it’s probably only half-correct to say that the major parties artificially lump all of these disparate political viewpoints together. Rather, it is clear to me that there is a strong element of personality style, temperament, or “inclination” involved. It’s not a coincidence that the Democratic party is the party of weirdos, because weird people need other weird people around them in order to not feel weird--to convince themselves that they are “normal.” Moral weirdness, economic weirdness, spiritual weirdness, sexual weirdness, artistic weirdness.... All of these people can find a home in the Democratic party.
Likewise, there are many inadequate definitions of what it means to be a “conservative,” some of which are mutually exclusive, such as libertarians and traditionalists or free marketeers and anti-globalists. And yet, these different attitudes may share an underlying personality style or “attitude” toward the world.
For me, for example, the majority of leftists just seem frankly ignorant or emotionally immature. It is very easy for me to see the Democratic party as the party of the children and the Republican Party as the party of the adults. Of course, this is a huge generalization and obviously doesn’t apply to all Democrats. But as a party or ideology, I don’t see how contemporary liberalism can have any appeal to an emotionally, cognitively, or spiritually grown-up person, whatever the obvious and very real drawbacks of "Republicanism."
While there are obviously some grown ups on the left, they seem to be motivated more by their fear or hatred of the right. I know many such people. In fact, I was once one myself. I may not have known what I was, but one thing I wasn’t was a tight-assed, greedy, moralistic, war-mongering conservative.
Of course, I was engaging in pure projection then. But you can see how powerful that mechanism is. What most strikes me about dailykos or huffington post--aside from the adolescent anger and sheer stupidity--is their truly invincible projection. The way they characterize conservatives is a hoot. It’s so over-the-top, so Austin Powers Dr. Evil, that you have to just laugh. I have never seen them accurately characterize what conservatives believe or why they believe it. Normally you would mark this down to intellectual dishonesty, but I don’t think it's that at all. Rather, they truly believe these things about conservatives because they truly feel them. So that is the real source of their faux unity--the infantile projection into conservatives. It's not a real unity at all, merely an emotional reaction--which is why they really can't get organized around any coherent intellectual core, as can conservatives. The fact of the matter is that moderate Democrats are just as creeped out by their own base (in both senses of the word) as you and I are. Just ask Joe Lieberman or the editors of The New Republic.
Well, this post is sort of hopeless.... 12 minutes to go.... I think I’ll just spell check and get out of here.