The nonsense that truth and goodness lies in some romantic purple region between the Right and Left ideologies is an idea long contended in RR. Here we have always advanced the notion that presenting clear and complete arguments from both sides is the sum and stuff of a working democracy. In my 2012 post ‘The Muddled Middle’ I summarized the utility of such ‘polarized’ arguments –
Nothing will make it more clear to the dimly lit electorate than highlighting the differences as much as possible. Everyone knows that the so-called center of the road is where the business-as-usual takes place which has gotten us to where we are, where all principle winds up as putrid roadkill.
In his How Not to be Wrong – The Power of Mathematical Thinking (2014) Jordan Ellenberg serves up a powerful graphic that documents how our current ideological spectrum divides itself on the Right/Left vs More/Less Informed plane (see figure). The data points are generated from “a political survey taken by Public Policy Polling on December 15, 2011; there are one thousand dots, each representing a voter who responded to a twenty-three question poll. The position of a point on the left-right axis represents, well, left and right: people who said they supported President Obama, approved of the Democratic Party, and opposed the Tea Party tend to be on the left-hand side, while those who favored the GOP, disliked Harry Reid, and believed there is a “War on Christmas” are over on the right. The vertical axis stands roughly for “informedness”— voters toward the bottom of the graph tended to answer “don’t know” to more insidery questions like 'Do you approve or disapprove of the job [Senate Minority Leader ] Mitch McConnell is doing?” and to express little or no excitement about the 2012 presidential election.'"
[11feb15 update] One of the wonders of the world is how America’s blacks swarm to support Democrat candidates. These are politicians of the party that has had African-Americans screwed, blued, and tattooed for at least half a century. It was Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society that gave rise to the destruction of a robust black middle class and its strong family culture. Today almost all of that is gone, and only remnants remain at the margins. To divert attention, the successes in these remnants are ballyhooed by the lamestream and Hollywood as evidence that leviathan is the best agent for righting the wrongs of history, heritance, and fortune. Ignored are black crime rates, educational achievement, and the fact that 7 out of 10 blacks are born to single undereducated mothers.
Liberal intellectual Dr Daniel Patrick Moynihan, at the time a member of the Johnson administration, warned everyone to what kind of a plantation blacks would return if the Great Society approach were to be implemented. Jason Riley in ‘Still Right on the Black Family After All These Years’ recounts Moynihan’s words from the 1960s –
The fundamental problem is that of family structure, …the evidence - not final but powerfully persuasive - is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.
These predictions were vehemently rejected by the liberals of the time busy fashioning Great Society’s disasters-to-be in the workplace, education, and welfare. By his own party “Moynihan was denounced as a victim-blaming racist bent on undermining the civil-rights movement.”
Now on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act these prescient echoes from the past are being quietly but understandably ignored by the lamestream. And in the interval no one in the government schools has told black children or parents about the socialist ideology that put them in their place and keeps them there today. The dole level that plundered black culture and families comes to $88,000 annually – that is what the $20,000 incentive then given to single mothers calculates out to be. And today that continues to be a mighty barrier to keep fathers out of the household, and the mother from seeking education or productive labor. Its horrible impact on the children is another story whose chapters we read daily in the news. But the greater tragedy in the making is that these central planners have the rest of us in the same sights.
And with evidence like that it is no wonder that the middle can be called muddled for not rejecting the ideology of class destruction, while they cling to the hollow solace of the yellow stripe.