Political polarization is all the rage in the news. Looked at realistically, one cannot say that the country is the most polarized it has ever been. Perhaps that is true as long as political polling has been around, but to compare today’s political polarization to Andrew Jackson and his opposition to the national bank, the lead up to the Civil War, or even our entry into World War I is seriously off the mark.
Consider this: the mainstream media makes a great deal about the alleged rift within the Republican Party. Instead of viewing it as “rift” or “civil war,” it illustrates an important point about how the liberal mind works. If anything, although the demographics may not reflect it, the GOP is more ideologically diverse than the Democratic Party. Within the GOP, you have the moderate conservatives, the libertarians, the evangelical Christians, the Tea Party, the Establishment, the RINOs, etc. What does the Democratic Party have? Part of this is attributable to two facts. First, the election of a president in 2008 whose tendencies bordered on socialism created a backlash- a normal and necessary adjustment in the electorate. Obama and company moved too fast and they truly did not waste any time taking advantage of a crisis. Second, the backlash came in 2010 when the GOP swept the Democrats out of power in the House. As part of that sweeping, some of the more moderate Democrats lost their elections. Today, there is no Blue Dog Democratic Caucus. If any are left, they are politically impotent and the only ones left behind are the more stalwart Leftist Democrats.
Pew Research did a poll a few years back regarding social media sites and politics. That poll revealed that the more liberal the respondent, the more likely they were to take action against proponents of opposing views. They would block people or “unfriend” them; conservatives were considerably less likely to do so. But, this is a benign manifestation of how the Leftist mind works.
Basically, the liberal (or progressive, or Leftist) mind places society over the individual. In their view, history is on a predetermined pathway towards justice and good. Anything that gets in the way cannot be explained in their mind. They lack the capacity. So when videos appear depicting pure evil, the reality of the world- the fact that there are some groups who behave like they are in the 8th century- is lost on them. The straight line of history is revealed as being no so straight after all.
This translates into a lack of empathy for an opposing view, or the purveyor of that view. Often, rational debate deteriorates into name-calling and insults. Because there are some people out there who believe that mandatory contraception coverage in a health care policy violates their religious beliefs, these people are considered troglodytes- backwards thinking people living in the 1950s waging a war on women, or in the words of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, giving women the back-handed slap and pulling their hair. That is because to people like her, any individual having a heart-felt religious belief is a foreign notion. That belief gets in the way of their perception of social progress.
In fact, the secular mind of the Left rejects the notion of the individual almost to the point of disrespect. The individual is subordinated for the “good” of society as they see it. It is the motivation behind the Leftist notion of a helping hand to minorities and groups they perceive as being the victims of American society. It denies the innate abilities of individuals and creates a neat compartmentalized series of demographic groups. A perfect illustration is the controversy over the name “Washington Redskins.” For over 80 years, this was not a problem. There are no protests in the streets. But today, with all the problems facing this Nation domestically and internationally, people are worrying about the name of a football team? It is a great distraction, but one that fits nicely into the Leftist mindset. Even if not “oppressed,” they make them “oppressed.”
The unfortunate outgrowth from this mindset is a case of severe intolerance cloaked in the language of “political correctness” and, ironically, “tolerance.” The Leftist mind is more, as one scholar explained it, finely tuned for examples of social harm and injustice. That is why they see a racial or religious bogeyman behind everything. One of their leading moonbats- feminist writer Amanda Marcotte- is less a feminist and more accurately a hater of organized religion. There are the grandstanding race baiters like Sharpton, Jackson and Holder, but they are merely the mouthpieces for what most on the Left think.
It also leads to some seriously bad policy choices. It is easy for them to find victims in the collective. This mindset leads to an attempt to shutdown the opposition. Conservative talk radio is a perfect example. Unable to beat conservative talk radio on their own, they attempt to shut it down by arguing for a return to the Fairness Doctrine. Opposing views on college campuses- the one place where free and open speech should be paramount- is shut down through repressive speech codes. A commencement speaker who may have expressed views at odds with the Leftist powers that be are harangued out of town. A bakery in Oregon that does not bake a cake for a lesbian couple is forced out of business.
There are other examples. At the University of California at Santa Barbara, a professor steals the signs of pro-life peaceful demonstrators in the designated “free speech zone,” itself an oxymoron. Philadelphia union members set fire to a Quaker church because they had the temerity to use non-union labor to make repairs. Costco stores takes a book by Dinesh D’Souza off the shelves at the insistence of Leftists. People who believe in global warming, but question man’s relative contribution are silenced as “deniers” or “flat earthers” and denied a voice. Nowhere is this intolerance more evident than in the treatment of black conservative voices like Ben Carson, Tim Scott, Mia Love, or Clarence Thomas. Racial discrimination is just fine if it is discriminates against the right people- usually the ones with the higher test scores or better school performances. And in New York, if you happen to believe in guns and oppose gay marriage, then the Governor wishes you would leave the state. Unlike the occasional conservative who will suggest secession or such- the exception to the rule,- to the Leftist the exception is the rule.
The next time television talking heads pontificate about “polarization” and “intolerance,” it would behoove everyone to take a step back and realize where the fault lies for polarization or intolerance. A conservative will disavow those at the fringes. A liberal will make excuses for those at their fringe.