To hear, or not to hear are the issues that split extremes not only from each other but from reasoning moderates, including those just to right and left of center. In the center, some say, lies only road-kill. People of small mind but peaceful aim can get crowded to the center. Fence-sitting, at least, may save ‘em from getting gored by the bull. A slightly savvy Right-ist may turn this around to, Save us from getting bulled by Gore! Or, save us from talk longer than a sound-bite—unless it’s a string of sound-bites and maxims we like to hear. Principles can be stated as pithy phrases, right? Maxims tell a maximum of meaning in quick bursts, right? Unless they let in dark shadiness along with all that light, which carefully viewed, turns out to be more of a dazzling flicker than pure brilliance, then maybe we don’t feel so clear and sure.
Here’s one: “Family is the basis of Society.” Right? Wrong! Pure fantasy. If you ever had a course or carefully read a book on anthropology, child development or social psychology, you’d quickly figure out, it’s just the opposite. Society is the basis of Family. This statement, like most statements, isn’t perfect. It doesn’t say all there is to the subject. These two statements are like two legs of a sheep. There are still two more, plus head, tail and that wooly fleece all over the body. Don’t get too abstract, you get simple-minded and leave out details maybe to where you’ve got a warped, lacy picture of the subject. Horns didn’t even get mentioned, which is important when you’re really looking at a goat. But, that’s enough for you Red Shirts, today—maybe more than you can handle. Get prying into methadology, you might start to think, and that would be awful for the GOP and its big, whip-crack’n backers who don’t care about you farther than they can use you up and toss you away.
Pride And Prejudice. Aye, there’s the rub. We folks who’ve found ourselves think we have a fresh slant on things and an original voice. Of course, we’re wrong. Nothing is new under the sun, says the Old Testament prophet. (You know the one, right?) Well, it doesn’t take Jane Austen to tell you that one of our distressful, human weaknesses is the urge not to be wrong about anything and to never have been wrong, whether we were or not. If we sense we’ve been wrong or may now be in the wrong, we have to spin the world around us like a lizard in a dry fishbowl, to show we’re right and always were. As poor little critters in a big universe, rationalization and bombast as our main stock in trade has sustained religion at the expense of stymieing science for many generations. If conservatives had won from the start, we’d be living in caves. If there had been Republicans among the Neanderthalers, they’d have been urging those folks to crawl on all fours back up into the trees; each to sit on a limb. Individuals! Only the tree of life holding all of ‘em together, sheltering from the storm.