Summary: Generally at least, the leadership of the Right examine an issue with the goal of arriving at a conclusion, or conclusions, that will improve society. In all cases, though, the leadership of the Left examine an issue with the goal of arriving at a conclusion, or conclusions, that will persuade the most possible people to give power to the Left. The Right want to get it right, “in order to form a more perfect union,” while the Left use every issue to get more power.
It’s not simply that the Right want to push the resolution of any issue out to the people, nor is it only that the Left want the government to take control of it. Those are aspects of how each side says an issue should be resolved.
However, the difference between the Right and the Left on any issue is even more basic than that: it’s the actual goal of all their efforts. The Right want to get it right, “in order to form a more perfect union,” while the Left use every issue to get more power.(1)
If that leads to “a more perfect union,” well and good, but that is absolutely not the Left’s primary goal. And if “a more perfect union” were to get in the way of their obtaining greater power, then, simply — “a more perfect union” has to go.
An issue pops up. Any issue. The leadership of the Right — the politicians and intellectuals on the right — look at it, and mull over all the possibilities, and hope to produce a conclusion that is the right conclusion. The conclusion that solves the problem.
The leadership of the Left look at an issue and ask themselves: “What policy position will give us the greatest possibility to obtain power?”
The Left will therefore come to the shallowest possible conclusion that they believe will gain for them the support of the most possible people. Regardless of the actual consequences of their policy proposals.
For the Right, the actual consequences of their policy proposals are paramount. The Right wants to get it right. The leadership of the Right derive great satisfaction from getting it right.
People of the Left — by this I mean their leadership — derive satisfaction only from gaining and retaining power. This is why the actual consequences of any policy proposals are perfectly meaningless to them. See, for example, “Cities, American.”
The rank and file of the Left want to get it right too, and they believe that their repeating of parts of the vast tide of fogwash that inevitably comes from their leadership on any issue, is a sign of their open-mindedness and generosity of spirit, not of what it actually is: laziness, or fear of studying the actual issues in depth. These are the people who confirm the foundational conclusion of the Left’s leadership’s that the people are generally stupid.(2)
The leadership of the Left knows that certain people will not want to take the time out of their day to study the issues in any significant way. They know further that this shallowly informed group is their target audience, and they on the Left are best served if these people remain ignorant. It’s for this reason that you frequently hear people who say some really stupid things being lauded as wise, nuanced, deep.
So, for example, the Left can arrive at the conclusion that “abortion ought to be a ‘choice,'” even though a mere moment’s reflection will point you to the obvious fact that abortion is not a choice if “it” is a baby. And that you must resolve whether or not “it” is a baby, before even contemplating the notion that it might be a choice… in any circumstance.
The leadership of the Left is entirely dependent on the people’s not doing that basic analysis in their own minds. They then bend the entirety of their efforts to elevating their superficial, nonsensical non-arguments to the status of Holy Societal Writ. They do so by wrapping these nonsensical ideas up in the selfsame fogwash mentioned above: You hate women if you oppose abortion! You’re a misogynist! A bigot! You want to control women’s bodies! You’re a neanderthal throwback who wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant, and you want to throw us all back into a Dark Ages of oppression and bigotry! A vast wave of fogwash to make sure that the simple, easy-to-understand, plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face fact that abortion is not a choice if “it” is a baby — is never even heard. You should notice in all this many aspects of The Big Lie, used almost obsessively by totalitarians throughout history.
When Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said that the American people are stupid, he was, indeed, referring to the people who supported his plan. This is where we on the Right got it wrong. We jumped all over Gruber for calling Americans stupid, when all he really did was call those who fell for his plan stupid. And he was right. They were, and likely still are.
We on the Right sometimes use what I’ve always called the Logical Extreme. It’s what others have called the Logical Endpoint. It means the way things would end up if they were carried out as far as they could go. So, for example: Government power taken to the Logical Extreme. If the government were to hold all power — what would that look like? Or homosexuality. Taken to its logical extreme, what would happen if everyone were gay? What would that look like? When you examine the Logical Extreme, you can gain some insights into whether the thing itself is good or bad.
To continue with the examples: Obviously, if the central government were to hold all power, then the result would be a horrific tyranny. And we’ve seen this before under Nazism, Communism, hereditary Monarchies and the like. Historians can point to very few, if any, successful societies under such ideologies. Therefore, the argument that government should hold a lot of power suffers with that understanding.
As for homosexuality, obviously if all people were gay, the entire human species would be extinct in a very few years. The conclusion that homosexuality is even normal suffers a death blow with the understanding.
The leadership of the Right understands these things and, usually at least, tries to formulate policy proposals that address them with the goal of actually improving society. They don’t always get it right, and there’s not anything close to unanimity on the Right, but that’s the general rightist state-of-mind. The leadership of the Left, however, examines the issue and searches for a conclusion that they believe will lead the most possible people to be persuaded that they should give power to the Left.
An important idea on the Left is that “the central government can most effectively, quickly, and comprehensively(3) address problems of any kind because, well, it’s central.” Therefore the administration of programs/policies/regulation that are supposed to address an issue should happen at the center, and should be imposed on the entire country.
Most importantly, the divergent goals of each political tendency have profound implications for society as a whole. The Left have no incentive whatsoever to solve a problem. To the contrary, they set up structures, bureaus and departments that have only incentives to keep problems in place.
Years ago, I worked at a place called ATP. The acronym meant something like “Alcoholism Treatment and Prevention,” but they hadn’t had anything to do with alcoholism for a long time. They’d long ago morphed into a methadone clinic. They “managed” people’s addiction to heroin by dispensing daily Dixie cups of methadone.
In not actually curing “their” addicts, the earnest people of ATP guaranteed employment for themselves, for as long as either their population of addicts remained addicted, and alive, or they got new addicts. All the incentives were in place to be sure that heroin addicts were never cured.
Even though I was in the IT department, I used to attend meetings in which the management of this particular methadone clinic discussed “market share,” (meaning: the number of addicts under their umbrella) and what to do to recoup revenues, now that so and so has died.
The management of heroin addiction was these people’s livelihood, and the worst thing that could have happened to them would have been the disappearance of heroin addiction.
This is how the Left operates. Needless to say, the workers and management at the methadone clinic were all ardent supporters of the Democrat Party. After all, it’s not a Republican Party core principle to set up programs, bureaucracies, departments and agencies that “manage problems,” and manufacture Democrat Party voter blocs.
Look also at American cities. The Left has exclusively owned America’s major cities for decades. You’d think that if the Left were actually interested in solving problems, then at least some problems in major American cities would get resolved, once in a while. Ask yourself: How are major American cities doing financially? How are race relations in major American cities? How about crime? How are things in general in major American cities?
Then, as if to punctuate the point, New Yorkers elected Republican Rudy Giuliani for two brief terms as mayor. The crime rate dropped through the floor.
(1) And many issues on which the Left seize are fabricated, fake issues. For example, the Left identify a potential grievance group, then fabricate an issue they can exploit in order to add to their grievance-centered worldview and their voter base.
(2) The international Left have as their central state-of-mind, the idea that there are two groups of people in the world: (1) the people themselves, and (2) a small anointed élite who need to lead the people to the future. The élite are overwhelmingly possessed of a sneering contempt for the people they believe they should lead. Jonathan Gruber, the principal architect of Obamacare, revealed that overtly one day, when he thought his words were not being recorded.
(3) “Quickly and comprehensively” are key words here. The leadership of the Left has long used an imagined ability of the central government to get things done rapidly as a key selling point. Also, the notion that the central government can resolve an issue comprehensively and once and for all is important to the Left. The Left are not all about tolerating dissent, or diversity of viewpoint. Take a look at what’s going on at today’s college campuses when a Conservative speaker plans to give a speech there. The Left want to win it all, and they want to win it now.