This post expands on #1 from ‘A new beginning.’ If you haven’t read that post, it is recommended reading before reading this post.
Extremes here, refer to an extreme leftist view or policy or an extreme rightist view or policy. These are counter-productive, and we will examine how that is so.
Before we move further with the examination of such an extreme view or policy, it is important to understand what a leftist view is and what a rightist view is.
A quick trip to the wikipedia article on left-right politics defines what left is and what right is. It defines left as the “party of movement” and the right as the “party of order.” I don’t like that definition very much as it defines it in the context of France.
The Wikipedia article also puts racial equality in the left wing and not in the right wing. Racial discrimination does not always hold true and in the United States, the Republican Party which is the bulwark of the right, has been home to President Abraham Lincoln who abolished slavery in the 19th century. So apparently what is considered ‘right’ in France doesn’t necessarily translate as ‘right’ in the United States. Although, if one examines the general thought of an average right leaning person, he or she might carry racial biases. Then there is what one hears about ‘opposition to immigration’ in the right. Again this is not a universal right view. And immigration has been extended to condone illegal immigration… which is absolute insanity.
Enough said on what others think about right and left.
Here is what, I think about what is right and what is left.
- A religious world-view.
- Fiscal conservatism.
- A desire to retain what exists and a desire to cherish the past.
- A general preference to lower taxes.
- Favors lower regulation.
- A secular world-view.
- Fiscally non-conservative, due to a socialist bent.
- A desire to embrace the new, often uncoventional.
- A general preference for higher taxes or progressively higher levels of taxation.
- Favors higher regulation.
If you examine these five major areas that define the Left and the Right, people who gravitate to the Left or the Right, do so based on where they see themselves in these five areas.
When one gets very extreme on the Right or very extreme on the Left, it gets ugly. Lets examine how.
When one takes a world view that is exclusively religious or secular in nature, it can get pretty hard to see another point of view.
Most people are pretty decent, they have their religious world view, profess it, expound it, but don’t deny you your freedom to do what you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt another being. In other words, there is tolerance or even better an appreciation of a different worldview. The vast majority of people, in my view, are of this kind. But if you listen to traditional media or the rhetoric out there, it seems like such a group is in the minority. No truly religious person can harbor hate for another, just because another is different.
Extremes in world view, be it religious or secular, creates a problem. Herein comes enforcement of one’s worldview on another or others, denying them their right to their worldview.
An extreme right view has resulted in bans on abortions, homophobia, supporting civilian weaponry that is fit for battle use, etc.
An extreme left view has led to enforced vaccinations with no regard to religious beliefs, promoting promiscuity and homosexuality as if it is normal human behavior and teaching it to be so to children, a reliance on science to the exclusivity of intuition and what one might call knowingness.
Neither of this is healthy.
A rational centrist view would be this:
- Instead of banning abortions, work on addressing the social factors that contribute to it. Such work can be in the form of education to prevent unwanted or teen pregnancies.
- Homophobia would be replaced with understanding, but would also not talk about it as being normal and talk about marriage equality. Normal is what a majority of the populace does. A normal distribution is more likely to describe human sexual preferences. A few outliers, don’t have to occupy the national consciousness.
The most important thing when it comes to lesbian or gay persons is this. Treat them as you would want to be treated. Yeah, such a person is different, but treat them as you would want to be treated. If that is adhered to by one and all, then half the social anxiety around this issue will disappear.
- The right to bear arms would be limited to weapons of reasonable power. After all, you are not going to allow an average citizen to carry a nuclear weapon.
The Random House dictionary defines arms as firearms and firearms is defined as “a small arms weapon, as a rifle or pistol, from which a projectile is fired by gunpowder.” The second amendment is sacred, but it also has to be reasonable. There is this whole subject of what causes the kind of mass killings/shootings, and I will cover that in a separate post.
- Science is great. I love it. I have made my living due to a scientific bent of mind. But what also appalls me is that what is promoted as science is accepted as such, without questioning who is speaking? Does the person or institution speaking have a vested interest in promoting a certain worldview or achieving a particular outcome?
Vaccination is one subject that brings this to light, as does the belief that psychotropic drugs are truly beneficial. Who is behind these? What is the real science behind this? What are the real numbers behind these? Any person that says they are scientific should examine the facts and the credibility and motives of the entity or entities promoting these. A blind acceptance of anything branded as scientific is no better than a blind acceptance of anything that is branded as religious. Here the extreme leftist is no different than the extreme rightist.
A person that has a truly scientific mind would be one who examines something oneself, sees that it is true and then accept it so and when found not to be so would reject it.
The problem with being too leftist or two rightist is that the mind is too fixed to entertain a different worldview and is actually looking for data to support ones prejudices and promotes opinions as facts and doesn’t examine facts put forth to truly vet it, as to source, validity of the data or study etc. How could such minds work together as officials or representatives or as the President to achieve cooperation and consensus and get things done? The grid lock seen in Washington for the last 8 years, is just a flat out unreasoanblness of both the left and the right, but it also arose from a President who was unwilling to be bi-partisan and was unwilling to achieve consensus.
This then is the view of the rational centrist: A scientific inquiring mind, a mind free of dogma, a mind that is truly free and is humane and understands the human condition but also aspires to improve it, not by force or enforcement, but by education and enlightenment.
It takes work to be a rational centrist, to be a moderate. But it is worth it, for that is the way to a better future. This the direction that elected officials and representatives should be moving in. Party affliations can’t come in the way of serving the people and serving them well and that requires a free mind, a mind that can take on a different viewpoint and change a viewpoint.
Rationality with a centrist viewpoint, is the way to a better future.