I confess I really have a hard time finding common ground with those on the right, even though I know that civility demands that I do – and possibly the survival of liberal democracy insists that I must.

It’s not that I think all right wingers are bad and evil people – clearly they are not. I mean, I have right wing friends.

(Why does that feel like you could add the word “Black”, “Jewish” or “French” in there?)

It is just that my experience of right wing politicians and their apparatchiks is that they never truly compromise – that they have no concomitant respect for the other side of politics, and any accommodations they arrive at with people like me are merely tactical, and never of the heart.

Putting it simply, they are not to be trusted. They hate progressive thought, and they despise those who engage in it. They mistrust innovation, they dislike equality, and they don’t really believe that anyone but them should be running things. Ever. It’s been called the “born to rule” mentality, and I have seen it everywhere for as many of my 55 years as I have actually been attuned to such things. I prefer “born to exploit”, but then, that’s me*.

And then I came across this little cartoon and it explained it eloquently, and simply, and, er, well, forever I guess. Recent right wing opposition to healthcare reform in the USA, to the mining super-profits tax and carbon pricing in Australia, and to rescuing the planet from man-fuelled climate change generally around the world, have merely confirmed me in my view.

So I don’t expect I will be offering much compromise anytime soon, unless the right changes its stripes, which I am frankly not expecting. So much as I love my right wing friends, please don’t ask me to change which side of the barricades are on. Because until we are met halfway, I won’t.

And to my left wing friends, the message is “Maintain the rage”.

Er, yup. That’s about it, right there.

*I exclude genuine entrepreneurs from this judgement, those who actually make something, make it at a price that can be afforded, and sell it to people who gratefully receive it. They are the lifeblood of liberal democracy, and I salute them.

  1. jvdix says:

    I’ve been reading “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt. I haven’t finished it so I am not an authority, but apparently the right sees all kinds of things as moral issues which are not moral issues at all to progressives. I can certainly sympathize with not wanting to compromise on a moral issue. I only hope if I keep reading I can learn how to present at least some issues as non-moral in a convincing way.


  2. The Roger says:

    Hard to argue with what you say. It must be nice to be a far-right extremeist and always believe that you are right.


    • My old mother used to say “It is more important to have the courage to listen rather than the courage to speak.” She was right, and right wing, but had a strong democratic core. I fear many on the right today are losing that essential connection with both reality and decency.


  3. John Allison says:

    G.O.P. Has Sunk Too New Lows……Add Bush’s Final Polling Number 22 % Approval , To The Tea Party 112 Th Congress’ 10 Percent Approval = 32 % Approval…. Not Fit To Hold “ANY” Office , Should Care Enough About America To Resign In Disgrace , Instead , Re Tells The Voodoo Economics LIES !~


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