Conservatives vs. Progressives…

In a piece by E.M. Cadwaladr in December 2016 he discussed conservatism and progressivism by saying: “contemporary conservatism and progressivism are not just two points along some abstract right-left continuum, but are utterly different and irreconcilable worldviews.”

Another piece by Robert Knight on Townhall discusses the wide difference between Donald Trump, a ‘conservative’ and Barack Obama, a ‘progressive’.

Perhaps this gives us some basis for comparison of the immediate past President and the current President, and perhaps it sheds light on the stark understanding there likely could’ve been no other ‘before and after’ that would cause the sparks and angst we see almost daily on the political front.  Many link ‘progressivism’ and ‘atheism’ as you go through readings about one or the other and about the range of belief systems in our world.

If we view where we are today compared to where we were under the previous Administration, I think we can see more plainly the myriad differences between a President Obama and a President Trump.

Our political world in the U.S. has gotten to the point where it is very difficult, and probably not too wise, to engage in what used to be regular talk about politics.  I suspect that holds true for the bulk of the world as we know it today.  We have become much more divided in our political beliefs; the degrees of separation have never better greater.

Given that, can we even expect to return to the days of more civil discourse about politics?   Can we ever expect to see a less-divided Congress or a more welcoming discussion of the difference in beliefs and basic feelings about things?

If you give thought to the events of the day, it seems there is a much greater divide between the points-of-view than ever used to be the case.  In the old ‘barbershops, the banter almost always dealt to some degree or another with politics.  People enjoyed arguing their points of view.  To argue was not thought to be anything other than the way we discussed differences of opinion.

If we engage in an old-fashioned argument today, we are to be shunned.  That certainly applies to politics and it seems to more and more topics as the years go by.  Feelings lie very close to the surface today, and to hurt another’s feelings is tantamount to have punched him or her in the jaw.  That just isn’t to be accepted.

So, we tend to find others of like beliefs and we associate with them.  That ends the discourse that might’ve changed minds or at least provoked some deeper thought when the discussion/argument was behind us.  Today, to engage in a ‘lively discussion’, not an argument, Heaven forbid, is frowned upon.  We might hurt someone’s feelings, even someone within earshot and not even involved otherwise.

All this, of course, is meant to indicate that we have evolved from what we might’ve been twenty years ago or forty years ago.  The good that some of those earlier discussions held within them are now to be foregone in the interests of not offending anyone.

I am not at all certain this represents ‘progress’, even though that word now is probably taboo since it is the root of ‘progressives’.


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