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October 03, 2011


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Patrick de Freitas

When social talk turns to politics, I notice that lefties bitch really well but don't act. But by the time that conversation has even begun, the righties have already acted, calling their congressman, writing checks, generally arranging things to their liking.

It's because of our different world views, I fear. Lefties want to discuss, to chew on things, to see nuance, to savor their outrage. And they're not willing to step away from their own precious silos.

Righties by contrast seem to have fewer qualms, fewer doubts, fewer reasons to prevaricate. So they don't.

Why can't we lefties at least pretend to act more like righties? Something good might happen, as you say.


I once attended a Hudson Institute-sponsored event that featured 15 or so of the stars in the conservative firmament--Charles Murray, Francis Fukuyama, people like that. While they represented different takes on conservative thought, I was struck by how unified they were in their hatred of Hillary Clinton, a presidential candidate at the the time. It was the possibility that she might be elected and Scandinavize the U.S. that most troubled their imaginations. It was for me the usual "government IS the problem" cant with a measure of sexism mixed in.

So conservatives want small government, and there's considerable message discipline in the ranks, even when what's really meant is "enough government to keep me fabulously wealthy," if you're one of the plutocrats, and "no government at all," if you're one of the crowd whipped into an anti-Washington frenzy.

I've heard various takes on the purported single-mindedness of conservatives. Certainly at the level of leadership, it's much easier to coordinate the actions of an oligarchical plutocracy than a true representative democracy. I've also read studies that claim to distinguish the conservative from the liberal brain on measures of tolerance for ambiguity, etc. Don't know enough about those studies to comment.

rc helicopter

Impressive blog! -Arron

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