A new theory for why Republicans and Democrats see the world differently: Our political divisions aren’t red versus blue, but fixed versus fluid
The above is a heading that clever young Ezra Klein put up on his site late last year. It looks like Ezra's political science degree from UCLA did not include any psychology. Otherwise he would have realized that there is nothing new in his theory. It is in fact an old dodge that Leftists have been using at least since 1950. I have done a lot of research on it.
What it boils down to is what we in Australia would tend to call a "switcheroo". You don't change the facts. You just stick another label on them -- even if you have to make up a new name for the purpose. The 1950 group led by Marxist theoretician Theodor Adorno invented the label "intolerant of ambiguity to characterize conservatives while Leftists were "flexible"
Of course the Left is flexible. They have been for a long time -- super-flexible. When Hitler invaded Poland, he did so with Communist Russia as an ally. And American Communists (longshoremen particularly) were vocal supporters of Hitler at that time. They saw Nazism as a fraternal socialist system -- which was in fact pretty right. But when Hitler invaded Russia, American Communists didn't miss a beat. They immediately became Anti-Nazi. Very flexible. "No principles" would be another way of putting it
And they do 180 degree turns all the time. When Mr Obama began his presidency he was an outspoken opponent of homosexual marriage. When the wind among Leftists began to blow in the opposite direction, however, his views promptly "evolved" to the opposite.
And when Bill Clinton failed to win a majority of the popular vote in his win of the presidency, that was fine and dandy. It wasn't even an issue. But when Donald J. Trump also failed to win a popular majority that was and is an outrage that can only be fixed by a change in the constitution -- which mandates an electoral college.
And Leftists actually tell us that they have no principles. They repeatedly tell us in any debate where they look like losing that "There is no such thing as right and wrong". That's the ultimate in "flexibility". Anything goes. And they are even flexible about that. Some things ARE wrong if they say so. Racism and Donald J. Trump for instance. Their flexibility is so great as to lead them into self-contradiction, which is about as mentally inadequate as you can get. Only Freudian compartmentalizion enables it.
Meanwhile we silly old conservatives try to arrive at realistic and internally consistent policies. How rigid, inflexible and intolerant of ambiguity we are! The authors below call the divide a “fixed” versus “fluid” worldview but it's the same old relabelling of the chronic Leftist illogicality and inconsistency versus the conservative push for order and rationality.
In their illogicality we can often recognize all the old Freudian defense mechanisms: denial, projection, compartmentalization. Leftists use them all in their desperation to avoid recognizing how reality constantly contradicts their theories. They need those theories to justify their hatred of the world about them. In their need to think socialism makes sense, they are even sticking with Maduro at the moment. Freudian denial, of course.
Their only loyalty is to their hatreds and socialism is hatred of the normal human way of doing things -- where you have to work for what you get. That hate is the driving Leftist motive has been thrown into sharp relief by the arrival in politics of Donald J. Trump. He has elicited an unending orgasm of hate from them
“Of the many factors that make up your worldview, one is more fundamental than any other in determining which side of the divide you gravitate toward: your perception of how dangerous the world is. Fear is perhaps our most primal instinct, after all, so it’s only logical that people’s level of fearfulness informs their outlook on life.”
That’s political scientists Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler, writing in their book Prius or Pickup, which marshals a massive trove of survey data and experimental evidence to argue that the roots of our political divides run so deep that they make us almost incomprehensible to one another. Our political divisions, they say, aren’t about policy disagreements, or even demographics. They’re about something more ancient in how we view the world.
Hetherington and Weiler call these worldviews, which express themselves in everything from policy preferences to parenting styles, “fixed” versus “fluid.” The fixed worldview “describes people who are warier of social and cultural change and hence more set in their ways, more suspicious of outsiders, and more comfortable with the familiar and predictable.” People with a fluid worldview, by contrast, “support changing social and cultural norms, are excited by things that are new and novel, and are open to, and welcoming of, people who look and sound different.”
What’s happened in recent decades, they argue, is that politics in general, and our political parties in particular, have reorganized around these worldviews, adding a new, and arguably irreconcilable, difference into our political divisions. That difference is visible in everything from what we think to where we live to how we shop, but it’s particularly apparent in how hard it is for us to understand how the other side views the world.