Thursday, May 28, 2015

The roots of Progressivism and Conservatism…

Reasons for irreconcilable differences

Progressives and Conservatives seldom agree on anything.  And there are root causes for this great divide that few of us bother to consider.

Progressives (also known as “liberals”, “socialists”, “communists”) and conservatives (especially “social” conservatives, and to a lesser degree “fiscal” conservatives) each maintain a “world view” that is worlds apart from one another.

One of the foundational differences is highlighted in the first installment of a Front Page Magazine article by Dennis Prager titled “The Differences Between Left and Right”.  In this first installment one of the root differences is whether humans are inherently good or inherently evil.  Or, putting it more mildly, whether we are prone to do good, selfless things, or prone to do less good, more selfish things.  Liberals tend to believe we are inherently prone to do good.  Conservatives believe we are inherently prone to do evil.   

Many of our political beliefs and differences stem from these basic differences in world view.

The liberal/progressive predisposition leads to public policies that are called “progressive” in the sense of humanity always progressing toward a utopian future facilitated by a large “benevolent, all-knowing” government and elite academia that relies on “pure motives” to lead us “forward.”

The conservative predisposition leads to public policies that distrust government, favor the “rule of law” and a set of agreed upon standards and constraints the provide an environment that facilitates personal responsibility, initiative, and creativity.

I am a conservative because I am aware of human history, the folly and failure of just about every form of government, and the reality of current events.  I consider liberals to be unrealistic Pollyannas.  And I have observed that the Christian Bible has pretty much nailed the human condition – in more ways than one.

Conservatives who might believe that “progressivism” is the root cause of all  error and turmoil around us don’t dig far enough down to discover the taproots.   Those who fail to do this digging tend to be “fiscal conservatives” only, and believe that “social conservatism” is an irrelevant and bothersome distraction. 

Social conservatives, of which I am one, believe that widespread, personal rebellion against morality and cultural norms, and the culture’s unquestioning acceptance of that rebellion, as we hear Michelle Obama encouraging graduates to “shape the revolution”, is the root cause of our nation’s failures and decline.  Progressives deny there is a decline at all, and instead apply their faulty predispositions to continuing our failures.  They can’t even admit that Islam is an evil ideology.  They have a disdain for the distinction between “good” and “evil.”  This is why liberals seldom admit to any wrongdoing.  They believe they are superior to anything in the past.  They focus on the bad things from the past while conservatives emphasize the good from the past.

A new book titled “The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree” by William Gairdner discusses this topic in great detail.  This book is worth a read even just for its many tables that ask “where do you stand” on topics like “human nature”, “freedom”, “equality and inequality” “God and religion”, “homosexuality”, “abortion”, and “euthanasia.”

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