Thursday, June 08, 2006

The two real ideologies

Based on what I've parsed in the news lately, I'm testing out a theory that I've never quite articulated all the time until now. Since "compassionate conservatism" blew away any expectation of what it means to be conservative (i.e. the environment, the scope of government), let's now redefine the two ends of the political spectrum as this: for conservatives, beliefs dictate circumstances; for liberals, circumstances dictate beliefs.

Take your uber-conservative, Ann Coulter, for example. 9/11 has been repeatedly and continuously exploited for their purposes, not necessarily because they felt it proved their expectations (let's face it, they had none when it came to security), but because it drifted into the worldview and seemed to fit what they comprehended. Now that the families of 9/11 have spoken out and have drifted out of the beliefs of conservatives, it is perfectly alright to now trash the one thing that has kept them in power. Circumstances no longer fit, but beliefs remain intact, and conservatives continuously attempt to will those beliefs into reality, hopefully to shape the circumstances that may or may not be in their control.

Take same-sex marriage, for another example. If Democrats thought they could win voters by saying bigotry is bigotry, and it's wrong to twist the spirit of the Constitution to send megachurch-goers to the polls, they would say so. Yet, and it's probably true, that strategy would be too risky. So the circumstances surrounding that risk dictate what Democrats believe: that it should be left to the states (see Sen. Levin). As if everyone forgot that the ideal liberal position would be to reconsider the Second Amendment and consider its repeal.

Liberals should take warning, as this is not the best strategy either. Nobody triangulates better than a DLC Democrat. Like...Hillary. Or...Kerry (I mean, c'mon, when was he talking about stem cells before Christopher Reeve died?).

Here's your problem: circumstances change all the time, and moderates have no clue what to believe (at least liberals feel themselves committed to what they do believe).

Yeah, I'm stuck on this one.


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