Sunday, May 20, 2012

BJ's Polarized Politics 2/3

The defining feature of American government, distinct from other forms of Western European government is our lack of a parliament—and accompanying institutional parties. To keep the argument short, in Western Europe there are many parties that form coalitions and work together on issues but remain independent while in America there are two dominant parties that have to distinguish themselves on issues to get votes—basically, they have to be visibly polarized. In short, polarization in America is the product of institutions favorable to this arrangement. Policy and politics are both factors—but J-Bizzy’s argument ignores one and overly favors another. His view is skewed.

Possibly too much. Like this, “Bush had to deal with the most damaging military attack on the American mainland since the War of 1812.” Not sure why he thinks the most recent period was 1812 and not Pearl Harbor (not a state at the time so maybe not mainland?), the Mexican-American war (also territories), or the Civil War (maybe seceding states don’t count?). He doesn’t even have to be inaccurate here, and a lack of clear reasoning makes this statement dubious at best. The point is that Bell J makes a lot of unfounded, dubious, or wrong statements without any clear reasoning as to how it improves his argument.

Jeffy believes that there is a war going on—a tacit one where the righteous right faces the anarchic left in a showdown that pits literal believers in the Declaration of Independence against institution destroying Godless Rousseau followers. Neither depiction is true. For the record, the “left”—his ill-defined other—does have some extremists in its midst who believe in some or maybe even all those things, but they certainly don’t run things. Mainstream liberalism is more concerned with the preservation and endowment of rights to people via reasonable legislative or regulatory frameworks. The inalienable and self-evident nature of human equality may be implicit but there are far too many explicit examples where this has not been so.