The USA is on centerstage today as the latest in a long line of liberal democracies unable to adjust to the world. There is a schism of political ideologies. This is occurring worldwide but today is Americas day. You have a social-welfare platform in conflict with a corporate-welfare platform. Regardless of who wins these are the political structures that perpetuate social strife. Nearly every political issue can be aligned to these two opposites.
This on display when you consider demographics. Where high correlation social-welfare or collectivism is aligned with urban locations and individualism or “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” is aligned with rural locations. Metropolitan areas can’t exist without social and utility collectivism for services. Meanwhile rural populations are hampered by that form of social constraint. 3 days of power outage in New York summer is a mass casualty event. A month without electricity across a large swathe of Kentucky in the dead of winter, during a blizzard, causes a pregnancy bubble.
These competing ideologies must exist (Democrat, social-welfare, collectivist) and (Republican, corporate-welfare, individualist) alongside each other for a modern society to function. Most people align in some amount to either side with variants. You can see this in language such as instead of “corporate-welfare” they choose “government deregulation”. Since the principle of the commons exist. Air, water, land, and such are shared resources whether what we breathe, navigate upon, or highways. Corporations who pollute, use highways, or ship products are recipients of those regulated commons environments. Similarly, “social-welfare” is a nice way of saying “wealth redistribution” and making a collective group pay for other individuals poor choices or bad luck. Politics has created the industrial urban blight as much as it has created the incessant need for migrant farm workers.
Purity or ideology also does not exist, and labels are often fallacious exemplifying hubris. “Pro-Life” is really anti-abortion as the identifying group is often also “pro death penalty.” Similarly, law and order politics is posteriori restraint on freedom. It is fully possible to be “law and order” and “second amendment” when you are taking rights from an adversarial political opponent and giving other rights to your constituency.
Looking forward to 2024 whether Republican or Democrat there are some ways to break this social morass of pain and cultural sensitivity. First, eschew the politics of ideological separatism. Second, embrace the concept of freedom to live socially responsible lives. Consider planks that don’t make abortion illegal but the reasons for abortion to go away. Think about how business should not have to operate as part of some Ayn Rand nightmare and should not lead into the corporatist dystopia either. We’re seeing a resumption of states asserting the rights of the 10th Amendment in regards to drug laws and ending, “The War on Drugs”. The sitting president will have to consider carefully the direction they choose.
We’ve gone down the path of various ideological concepts and watched the political conflict through the lenses of progressivism, socialism, corporatocracy, and fascism. Few people support any candidate fully. The current political discourse and the structure of the arguments represent existential threats to either side of the equation and the platitudes when given have a hollow sound. Rabidity of discourse, social euphemisms, political correctness, gender and racial segmentation, and hyphenated Americanism all add to the degeneration of political and national will within the world. I refuse to treat my neighbor poorly because of their political affiliation. Honor, honesty, courage, courtesy and respect infuse the interactions I have with others. I’m not interested in being the crazy old uncle at family gatherings. Politics isn’t fun, it isn’t a hobby, it isn’t to be eschewed in common rooms, and it is what defines us as a people. If we can’t discuss politics as reasonable people without mockery then we’ve already lost the soul of our democracy.