Pithy Polemics

(1) Political Struggles (BG)

The political left sees politics as a vertical struggle between high-income and lower-income people.  The political right sees it as a horizontal struggle between nations, religions, cultures, ethnicities and races. 

The vertical struggle occurs all the time as the bosses and the investors wage class warfare upon the working class and the consumer class (who are the same people).  That vertical struggle does not require demagogues to arouse the antipathy between the elites and the dominated. 

The horizontal struggle occurs only when demagogues bring it about.  For it is not the natural state of human relations, especially if people know one another: we can all get along, live and let live.

(2) Why the Right Refuses to be Interested in Global Warming (MR)

The Vice-President is bewildered by the left’s concern with global warming.  The problem, however, is not with why the left has taken up the issue – what needs explanation is why the right refuses to recognize the problem.

Global warming, human induced climate change, should not be a matter of partisan difference – the well-being of the Earth and its inhabitants is at stake and a problem of such magnitude should be one that concerns us all no matter of what political outlook. 

However, the right has noticed something:  if man-made global warming is occurring and is a threat to the entire Earth and its inhabitants including human beings, that would mean that in the face of the threat, the government would have to assume greater powers, especially over the economy.  And that idea is anathema to the ideology of the right.  Hence Pence and friends would rather be irrational and deny the thoroughly established facts than surrender their ideology in the face of our need to close ranks and stop the climate change that warming is producing. 

President Trump, in making the U.S. a rogue state by pulling out of the Paris Accord, gave as the reason that even that modest accord is causing the U.S. economic “wounds”.  To stop global warming would require much more extensive changes in our economic system.

Pence and the right are the ones whose refusal to recognize the way things are is in need of explanation.  And the explanation has to do with the ideological consequences of any attempt to face up to the challenge to the Earth’s well-being.

(This was published as a letter to the editor in the Claremont Courier in May 2017)

(3) The Declaration of Independence was Sold-out by the Constitution (BG)

The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men (which meant human beings) are created equal.  The original U.S. Constitution did not treat all people as equals, but instead accepted slavery and limited the vote to property-owning males.

The Declaration called for government by the consent of the governed.  The original Constitution, however, minimized this by taking the election of Presidents and Senators out of the voters' hands.  Presidents were to be elected by Electors who did not have to be elected, and Senators were to be chosen by state legislators.

The original Constitution thus betrayed the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

It's interesting, but not surprising, that conservatives proclaim their allegiance to the Constitution repeatedly but honor the Declaration only on July 4th