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I’m trying not to make a habit of political posts, I swear… but here’s another

August 1, 2011

So I found an editorial on reddit today written for CNN by noted conservative David Frum. It was and interesting piece, and it demonstrates a great deal of frustration on his part when it comes to the GOP handling of this whole debt ceiling “crisis” thing. The point that he makes is that it does no one on either side of the political spectrum any good for one party to completely derail the system just because they’re not getting everything that they want.

It’s not that long and it’s worth a read; but most importantly to me, he closes it with the following sentence:

That’s how student radicals think — not conservatives.

I found this to be one of the most telling lines of the entire piece, because I really think that many of these people still do think of themselves as student radicals. Most of our politicians these days are part of the baby boomer generation; and, as I’ve written previously, I’m convinced that theirs is one that never fully matured intellectually.

Which is not to say that they’re stupid. They’re obviously not (not all of them anyway). But I do think that a much larger percentage of people of that age have a very real difficulty seeing nuance and compromise. They were raised, after all, under the shadow of the cold war – where each day they were bombarded with images of the evil Soviets vs the virtuous Americans. It was built into every facet of their lives – from cartoons to history books.

I think that when you grow up with the understanding that there are only two ways – our way or utter destruction – it makes it hard to imagine the world ever being different from that. To Republicans, especially baby-boomer Republicans (and in fairness, many Democrats too), there is only black and white. It’s their idea of America vs everything else. And no one can tell them different; because if you disagree, you must be a literal enemy to them.

It’s not just differing opinions anymore in politics, it’s the cold war all over again.

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