Paranoid, Violent Right vs Spineless Left

It is difficult to know which I dislike the most the manipulative, political right or the gutless, political left.  The right’s reaction to the global collision of cultures has been to return to the call of the tribe.  In the name of protecting the tribe, Homeland Security was born and even more jails for a nation that already has more people behind bars than any other; and an increasingly xenophobic, violent, public discourse, much of which the Oslo murderer appropriated to justify shooting defenceless children.

The left’s reaction has been to cut and run.  It refuses to defend even the most fundamental of its values such as the equality of men and women or the separation of church and state. It is assumed that the majority of the electorate understand these values and so will the majority of immigrants.  Well, they don’t.  Most of the electorate don’t understand what left politicians stand for except they are against the right.

For democracy to work, the electorate, (you and me) have to have some idea of what the issues are and how their politicians stand on them. People have neither today.  They have neither because neither the right or the left will acknowledge even the most commonly held beliefs and you can’t have a political position on something you won’t admit exists. A simple one that I see every day is that people are different.  We all walk, talk, think and worry about much the same things, but cultures are different.  It is this refusal to admit that cultures are different which is the basis of the right simplistic response to global conflict, ‘keep-em out and put-em in jail’ and the left’s mealy mouthed, ‘everything is going to be okay, but everyone has to be nice’.

Well, guess what, everything’s not going to be okay.  There are dead children all  over an island in Norway that will testify to this.  So what do we do?  We start by telling people the truth. The first is that every country and every  culture is not the same.  There are enormous differences. Turkey outlawed the veil in the 1920s, uses the Roman not the Arabic alphabet, and is the cradle of western civilization.  It’s also a devout Muslim country that has more mosques per square kilometer than any Arab nation.  Trying to slot all Muslims into the Saudi, fundamentalist model is sick, and this is what the right’s violent, protective discourse ultimately does.  Can I be clearer?

On the other hand, refusing to inform those that emigrate to any western democracy that the equality of men and women is non-negotiable or veils will be acceptable borders on the criminal.  Another non-negotiable principle is the separation of state and church. It is cast in the blood of centuries of religious war and should not be questioned. Fair, progressive taxation is another pillar of western democracy. Without it a descent into feudalism is inevitable.   Why can’t the left simply stand up and defend these fundamental pillars of their own society – and which they helped to create?

We need children to have confidence in the future, but it’s clear until adults start behaving like adults, it’s not going to happen.  The paranoid violence of the right must be abjured by the right and the left must stand up for the rights, freedoms and traditions of the people they aspire to represent.

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One Response to Paranoid, Violent Right vs Spineless Left

  1. Will Samuel says:

    The fundamental issue with left vs. right is perception. The right has always been seen as security, strength, stability whereas the left are the champions of those values, but seen as whining, tax hungry and weak. While both sides of the political line have their fanatics who are prone to violence, the right are more apt to use fear to keep subjects in line and violence as a way to subjugate the “other.”

    What bothers me more is than the ignorance of politics and the values thereof is that a lot of the prejudices stem from lack of education. Not because there are not enough educators, but because the students are either not there or not listening. The Ivory Tower of higher education is, for the most part, center to center-left. However, not everyone attends higher education and the voting public is split between those who have been challenged to critically examine their world and those who have been told to hold onto every scrap they have in case someone comes to take it away.

    Now do not mistake my words, I have a lot of love for the working class. My father spent half of my life toiling away in a canning factoring in Bloomfield Ontario and fought tooth and nail to keep food on our table when the plant closed. However, my working class friends and peers are often the ones I spend the most time talking politics with. They’re the ones I often hear bigotry from and fearmongering that I simply cannot sit idle by and listen to without trying to educate them. When you ran for mayor, I had talks with friends and their families to try and sway them. A lot of the time it was a fruitful debate, but now and again I hit the roadblock of uncertainty and misinformation. “Oh! Clive!? He’ll raise my taxes!” “He has no transit solution!” It took a lot of work to get them to listen to reason and that is the power and weapon of the right….being able to give just enough bad information or misinformation to make reasonable leftists struggle to debate with reason.

    Anyway, good blog Clive. Keep it up. I have been enjoying each post for a while now.

    Cheers,

    Will

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