Monday, May 17, 2021

How both tribes are missing the mark

Continuing in the thread of last Monday's post, I can't resist passing on three articles that absolutely nail the current dilemma in the U.S. and Western Europe over finding a middle way between the extremes of reactionary progressivism and conservatism. Here is a clip from Andrew Sullivan, that includes reference to a must read article by Tony Blair. His point is that the current GOP is missing an opportunity to capitalize on the following opportunity:
Everywhere in the West, this is now the winning electoral formula: left on economics, right on culture. By “left on economics”, I mean a recognition that market capitalism has been too successful for its and our own good, and that spreading the wealth to more people is needed both for social stability and to rescue capitalism from itself. And by “right on culture”, I do not mean some kind of revived Christianism. I mean affirming a critical but undeniable love of country and its flawed but inspiring history, reforming rather than defunding the police, enforcing the nation’s borders with firmness and compassion, embracing color-blind policies on race, and viewing our common humanity and citizenship as deeper principles than the modern left’s and radical right’s obsession with group identity.
Get that balance right, and the future is yours. In a must-read essay in Britain’s New Statesman, Tony Blair spells out how the progressive left is still misreading the public mood, allowing a cannier, less rigid right to entrench power. Money quote: “‘Defund the police’ may be the left’s most damaging political slogan since ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’ … It leaves the right with an economic message which seems more practical, and a powerful cultural message around defending flag, family and fireside traditional values.” Some key principles Blair lays out:
People do not like their country, their flag or their history being disrespected. The left always gets confused by this sentiment and assume this means people support everything their country has done or think all their history is sacrosanct. They don’t. But they query imposing the thinking of today on the practices of yesterday … People like common sense, proportion and reason. They dislike prejudice; but they dislike extremism in combating prejudice.
The third article I point to is an add-on to the above. Brooks' piece suggests that the wokeness, social justice, or critical race theory of the left is likely to be co-opted by the meritocratic elite of corporations and other establishment organizations. "In the 1960s, left-wing radicals wanted to overthrow capitalism. We ended up with Whole Foods. The co-optation of wokeness seems to be happening right now."

1 comment:

  1. When the mood of the press is to separate people by race, then it causes deep hurts, but also allows other motives and agendas to skate unnoticed. This not a statement that racism is not real, but rather a focus on one thing hides another. That puts us in an uncomfortable situation where you have to be aware of what is not said and those who need help do not get the support which is needed.