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21 April 2011

Sun Dogs and Other Ethereal Phenomena

The orthodox worldview is simple but (thus?) appealing and graspable.
The progressive worldview is complex but (thus?) confusing and discouraging.

Right wing politics--like religion--has the tendency to be orthodox; that is, it offers accessible answers--without concern for accuracy or appropriateness--in a complex world. It favors absolutes and does a good job of granting reassurance within uncertainty.

Left wing politics has the tendency to be progressive; that is, it offers complex suggestions for an equally complex world. It favors the relativistic, situational, and contextual, which means that its answers are often not reassuring and thus are prone to induce--or at least not to alleviate--anxiety.

(One of these two approaches plays much better on a television.)

The human existential struggle is such that we are constantly searching for a cure to our collective anxiety. This pursuit is often inconsistent with the pursuit of truth (little "t"). As I read about Washington politics, I am reminded of this, and I'm increasingly convinced that our entire notion of democracy needs some serious revision.

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