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The Differences between Right and Left

January 20, 2011

First, I want to say that the terms “right” and “left” are almost meaningless and often misleading. Having said that, the use of these terms to denote conservatives and libertarians on the one side and socialists. progressives and statists of all types on the other side is so widespread that it is almost not worth the effort to fight against it.

Having said that, Daniel Henninger has written a very important piece for the Wall Street Journal which touches on the fundamental differences between the two sides. The title is “Why the Left Lost It,” and the subtitle is The accusation that the tea parties were linked to the Tucson murders is the product of calculation and genuine belief. Like the Cato Institute, who brought it to my attention, I urge you to read the article in it’s entirely.

The key piece, I believe, is this:

The divide between this strain of the American left and its conservative opponents is about more than politics and policy. It goes back a long way, it is deep, and it will never be bridged. It is cultural, and it explains more than anything the “intensity” that exists now between these two competing camps. (The independent laments: “Can’t we all just get along?” Answer: No.)

If you read this blog regularly, you will have read as much here. The two sides differ on such fundamental questions as the nature of man, the perfectibility of mankind, whether we deserve individual rights or exist only as members of a collective, and consequently how government ought to be structured. One side attempts to deal with reality, the other to mold reality to their vision of the way things should be.

There is no middle ground. There is no compromise: just more of one side, less of the other. Every victory for one side is a clear defeat for the other.

We as individuals and as a nation must get off the fence and decide on which side we will stand. The Founders were clear: Give us Liberty.

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