January 31, 2018


The theory that helps explain today's political divide (JOE CARTER, January 31, 2018, Acton)

 While the left-right metaphor isn't totally obsolete, it seems to describe a range in an increasingly narrow center of American politics.

On the extreme ends it's easier to see how the far-left and far-right are closer together. Rather than placing them on extreme opposite ends, it's more accurate to consider them through the lens of the horseshoe theory, a concept in political science that claims the far left and the far right, rather than being at opposite and opposing ends of a linear political continuum, closely resemble one another, much like the ends of a horseshoe. [...]

I'm a conservative who subscribes to a form of mistake theory: I believe that since most liberals have mistaken view of reality they endorse "solutions" that are unworkable because they are rooted in an imaginary perspective of how the world functions.

I assumed most people on the right were also mistake theorists and was shocked over the past few years to discover just how wrong I've been. I was confused about why people who I thought shared my conservative worldview were willing to embrace almost any anti-conservative political policy (i.e., economic protectionism, expansion of government power, identity politics) as long as they and the politicians in power were "making liberals cry."

I mistakenly assumed they had changed political views and had become "populists" (which is itself a form of progressivism). Now I realize they are a type of conflict theorists: they are much more concerned with winning the "war against the left" than in convincing the public to apply conservative solutions to political problems.

To the extent that we can say the Left is mistaken, in its identitarian worldview, the Right partakes of exactly the same mistake.  And that worldview is antithetical to the worldview that informs the Founding and the Republic.

Posted by at January 31, 2018 5:09 PM