On the heels of my previous blog on the subject of Contempt, I’d like to take a stab at the differences between liberals and conservatives. It is in this area that we have taken contempt to a dangerous and toxic level, pitting neighbors, friends and even family members against each other. There is a lot of hate, anger, frustration, and other emotions fueling this division. “United we stand, divided we fall” and “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
The first thing to be aware of – almost a joke – is that liberals and conservatives believe EXACTLY the same thing! If you don’t believe it, just google “What is a _____ (liberal or conservative)?” The 2 definitions are completely interchangeable. What does this tell you? That the emotions fueling the division (frustration, rage, hate, etc.) have no logical basis – they are simply caustic, toxic, negative emotions based on ignorance, greed, fear, and the 7 deadly sins (pride, etc.). If you can at least be open to the possibility that this analysis is accurate, you are closer to understanding the division that separates us.
I tend toward the conservative side so let me describe what “conservative” means to me, and then touch on the upside and the downside of how conservatives are perceived.
Conservatives see themselves as flag-wavers, “Proud to be an American.” They favor small government, put a lot of stock in success through hard work and perseverance, are skeptical of welfare and handouts and dependence, and certainly not in socialism (which they see as taking from a hard working person and giving to someone else).
“Self-made men” are fine, but if they judge, belittle, or deny the rest of humanity, minorities, women, those in need, etc. they can be seen as selfish, greedy, bigoted, prejudiced, etc. Many who may not have had the breaks and opportunity are willing to work hard and do what it takes, and conservatives can be seen as obstructing these people (which is against the U.S. vision – “Give us your tired, your hungry, your _______ yearning to be free).”
Liberals are as much supporters of the American way, the Constitution, the desire to be free, as conservatives. But they interpret that support differently. Whereas conservatives could be described as supporting the status-quo, liberals want everyone to have the opportunity that previous generations have had, and that means governments who take care of the needy and insure equality, along with money (taxes) to pay for this care.
This is where I’m not sure, and I would love to have input from you readers. Liberals favor helping the needy, minorities, etc. but there is something deeper. I think it is contempt for previous generations (even their parents’ generation) who they believe took care of themselves, succeeded, and prospered while those in need were marginalized. So everything that symbolizes the status quo is held in contempt: the Christian religion; power; money; big corporations; the rich (except for the liberal rich).
HOW TO HEAL THIS DIVISION
Healing, if it is to happen, will come in only one way – face to face. Big central governments, political parties, candidates, donations and bribes from powerful people and corporations, none of these will repair the division that has occurred. We must come together, community by community, and find solutions and compromises so that we ALL win. Why community by community? Because that is how happy, healthy humans live, how they are designed to live, how they have lived for over 3 million years, and how they have recently ceased to live (and which is causing a catastrophic, cataclysmic crash in the human species). The suggestion that humans have to change in submission to the “new society” is wrong. The society must be designed so as to support the species in living in harmony with its design.
“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society” (J Krishnamurti)