If the only advantage in preserving a status quo is to delay doing anything, the primary achievement will be to ensure the difficulties have been compounded. It’s difficult to get anything done when nothing is being done! That means more will be impacted by delay and/or neglect, which only a few will find satisfactory.
But on matters of significance outside of our own four walls, where facts actually matter a great deal, what is the ultimate benefit to an individual or for the community at large if factual accuracy is not the objective in both the analysis and in the solutions?
The central claim of the right has long been that bureaucracy is the chief impediment to free enterprise — that big government too frequently gums up the works of a society that would be much more productive if left alone. As President Reagan put it in his inaugural address in 1981, ‘government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.’ Conservatives have, in turn, argued that government undermines the core values of hard work and perseverance that arise naturally in flourishing communities — that bureaucracy disrupts the innovative spirit that might otherwise thrive. The left, on the other hand, is inspired by a different view: that lack of opportunity is the nation’s most pressing challenge, and that government has an important role to play in steering the nation toward a more widely shared prosperity. Notwithstanding a new focus on the culture of poverty, liberals have largely argued that better education, nutrition, health care, and infrastructure are crucial elements of the public mandate. Both arguments, however, are predicated on the same notion: that the country should pursue a strategy that allows more Americans to tap into the strength and innovative spirit that is organically borne in their local communities. While conservatives may argue that the best thing government can do is get out of the way, and liberals may believe that the proper strategy is to provide additional opportunity, both sides presume that the spirit of Tocquevillian community fuels the society at large. But in a nation bereft of middle rings, that assumption may no longer apply.
Compounding the challenges of just getting the two sides to the same table are the many underlying values, principles, beliefs, and ideological underpinnings which serve as the foundation for motivations and policy. They, too, are quite different and distinct when comparing Left versus Right.Continue reading →
Conservatives … have a stronger preference for things that are familiar, stable, and predictable….Conservatives—at least, the subset prone to authoritarianism—also show a stronger emotional sensitivity to threats to the social order, which motivates them to limit liberties in defense of that order….[Cited researchers on the subject – my note] … concluded from a meta-analysis of this literature that the two core aspects of conservative ideology are resistance to change and acceptance of inequality. [other references and citations in the original]