have noticed an ever-widening polarization between those who think in a liberal paradigm and those who think in a libertarian paradigm. Libertarianism has come to take over what used to be conservatism while the old-fashioned conservatism has become what used to be considered liberal. Today’s liberals seem to be to be so completely off the rails that I cannot even comprehend their thought processes.
But then, they can’t comprehend mine either.
I had noticed this more and more over recent years with people who held the opposite political position from me on a variety of issues. But it really came home with clarity recently when I had a political discussion with a very good friend whom I respect deeply. And yet, our arguments did not even come close to making sense to each other.
There are peoplemillions of them, in factwho think it should be legal to murder babies, but then illegal to, say, pay a fast food worker less than minimum wage, or refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. How could I possibly understand this mentality? How could I wrap my head around the thought process that leads one to conclude that the latter cases are so atrociousso dehumanizingthat they ought to be outlawed, but the former case is so acceptable that it ought to be vigorously defended, and even funded, by the federal government?
As we ended that conversation I made the claim to my friend that I think the cause of our inability to convince each other to see the issue from our perspective comes down the the difference in what we respect and what we abhor. Afraid that I might offend my friend, I mentioned that the people on my side of the issue seem to view honesty, dedication, and commitment to morality as virtues while they view unusual behavior, agenda-driven dishonesty, and greed as vices, the people on his side of the issue seem to respect those who break the molds of accepted respectability, who will do anything to accomplish their agenda, and who use class warfare to increase their wealth while they disdain those who hold to traditional values and think those who are responsible are boring. To my surprise, he didn’t disagree.
Matt Walsh, one of my favorite bloggers, recently wrote an article that says this very thing. In his post “I can’t explain why we shouldn’t murder disabled children” puts into words what I was trying, without such eloquence, to say to my friend. And he uses the issues of abortion and infanticide to demonstrate that dividetwo issues very close to my heart.
Read the article and then bookmark his blog. It’s consistently outstanding. You won’t regret it.