Before a sensible
conversation is possible, everyone has to agree on definitions.
The fact that millions of Americans dont agree on definitions
is arguably the main reason why political conversation in this country
is so often incoherent and we therefore get nowhere.
we have the ongoing debate (so-called) between Republicans
and Democrats, conservatives and liberals.
It is like the debate between the National Socialists
of long-ago Germany and the communists of Soviet Russia. Fascism,
communism they are both in fundamental agreement, much as
they argue (often fiercely) about the particulars. It is the same
with our Republicans and Democrats. They do not fundamentally disagree.
Both urge that society be organized on an authoritarian collectivist
basis though they each call this by a different name. They
disagree merely on the ways in which this force is to be organized
and how it is to be used.
are either socialists or fascists, to one degree or another. On
the political left we have those who favor economic
redistribution in the name of the poor. On the political
right, we have those who favor economic redistribution
for the sake of defense and other cartelized manifestations
of big business.
But both meet
in the middle.
that rights are really conditional privileges, granted (and limited)
by society. Neither respects ownership of our persons,
let alone our property. Both exert their power over the individual
by coercive, collectivist mechanisms which the individual is required
to obey in exactly the same way as William Wallace of Braveheart
renown was told he had committed treason against his
king by refusing to Submit and Obey. When Wallace tells his inquisitors
that never in my life did I swear allegiance to him,
the blase reply, It matters not he is your king,
is just exactly the same reply any individual American would receive
today (by form letter) from, say, the IRS. And it would be affirmed
by most Americans, too.
To have a proper
conversation in 2012 America, we should begin by dispensing with
the intellectually dishonest and conversationally incoherent terms,
Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative.
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columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
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