Looking Left and Right: Will (Can) They Prove Us Wrong?


[NOTE] As I state in the “About Me” section, I’m driven by an intense commitment to learn why those on the conservative side of the fence view so many matters of great importance to us all so differently than do those of us on the progressive side. Those contrasting behaviors, beliefs, and ideologies are contributing factors to the very problems we’re trying to solve—the ones we must solve if our own ambitions and our hopes for a peaceful and prosperous world we leave to our children are to be well-served.

I’d like to make a small contribution toward changing the context and content of public debate. Understanding the ideological perspectives, beliefs, and values of those with whom we disagree is a good first step to engaging in more meaningful dialogue—idealistic as that may be. But why not? Is what we’re “doing” now any better?

If we don’t recognize and accept that bitter partisanship is not always the wisest or most beneficial strategy, the goal of a better future will forever be as far away tomorrow as it is today.

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The Republican Party’s economic agenda is obvious….These are not policies cohering by mere random maliciousness, they are deliberate and calculated. The sum is so much more reprehensible than the nefarious parts.
Republicans oppose jobs bills. They make whatever excuses seem expedient at a given moment, but the reality is that they have no interest in helping to create jobs. The Republican agenda depends on a continuing paucity of opportunities. Republicans know that trickle down economics doesn’t work, and that making the wealthy wealthier does not motivate them to create jobs….
Republicans know that there are far more people seeking jobs than there are jobs available, but they don’t see that as a problem, they see it as a solution. Not only do they not care about the suffering of those who want but cannot find work, they depend on that suffering, and intentionally exacerbate it. That is why they also oppose government spending to benefit the long-term unemployed. Republican antipathy to paying taxes isn’t only about avarice, it is about ensuring that there aren’t enough public resources available to alleviate those economically suffering. [1]

That’s a terrible indictment of not just a governing approach, but of an entire political philosophy and the stunning absence of integrity and decency which drive the efforts to bring it all to fruition.

Can they deny or dispute those allegations? That’s an important question, damning as the inferences and implications may be. We should not budget any time awaiting an intelligent or thoughtful response from the leadership, media elites, or business executives who continue to reap the rewards of this ideology.

Where the most meaningful answers ought to come from is from the everyday citizens who profess to support the principles of conservatism and the governing strategies and tactics deployed to enable policies adhering to those philosophical inclinations. Considering the consequences of political, cultural, and economic actions and behaviors is apparently a luxury too many on the Right cannot afford.

Ideology above all, consequences be damned (as long as they don’t affect us)” seems an apt motto easily affixed to policies proposed.

A moment’s pause to assess who benefits and who does not from the efforts cited above in Laurence Lewis’ outstanding article (and too many other policies and practices sharing the similar governing DNA) suggests that evidence contradicting Lewis’ observations would be hard to come by.

Is this the newest incarnation of American exceptionalism we should be boasting about? What kind of a nation are we choosing to be?

With tens of millions of our fellow citizens suffering needlessly—daily—what kinds of Christian/ethical justifications can be offered to explain away the savagery of spending cuts and benefit denials which instead pay homage to the elite or to principles resembling the ignorance and class warfare best left to the annals of ancient history?

As I noted in yesterday’s post, deficit considerations are off the board as an excuse. So what’s left other than to acknowledge the veracity of Laurence Lewis’ conclusions?

That’s a debate all of us can learn from, and benefit by.

~ My Photo: Good Harbor Beach, MA – 08.22.09


Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows


* I invite you to enjoy my two new books [here and here], and to view my other   blogs–both at this website [see below] and also at Peak Oil Matters

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Life Will Answer Thought-provoking inquiries & observations about how (and why) Life does … and does not, work for everyone. [Inspired by my book of the same name]

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The Middle Age FolliesA column offering a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50.


Be the change you want in the world – Gandhi

This blog is offered to encourage more enlightened public discourse—by sharing observations about the ideologies which motivate our political, economic, and cultural debates. The simple hope: shedding light on current “strategies” will prompt more of us to realize a different approach is at least worth considering … assuming a better future is worth pursuing. (It is!)

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because
of those who look at it without doing anything – Albert Einstein



[1] http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/02/1281061/-The-Republican-Party-s-transparent-agenda-of-class-warfare; The Republican Party’s transparent agenda of class warfare by Laurence Lewis – 03.02.14
post re: David Firestone