I have no accent
Reader comment on: Center-Right America
in response to reader comment: Mirror, Mirror
Submitted by Harry Binswanger (United States), Oct 29, 2018 16:21
Leftists (and many Rightists) having absorbed their ideology unconsciously, uncritically, at mother's, or professor's, knee, are not aware that they have any ideology. Their automatized value-conclusions seem writ into the nature of things, because they aren't aware of how they came to them (or stumbled into them). It's just "what everybody knows," what's self-evident.
This is the bovine unself-consciousness that permits people to imagine that there is a problem of "partisanship" and "obstructionism" and a "do-nothing Congress."
"If only the other side would stop denying what we all know, we could work together to do the self-evidently right thing." They cannot conceive of the fact that the two political parties have different ideas about which direction we should take. "Let's work together . . . "--to expand or shrink government power? "Put aside narrow, partisan politics . . ."--and vote to legislate as my Party thinks we should and your Party thinks would be wrong.
In my youth, I was stunned to hear a Britisher refer to "an American accent." We have no accent, I thought. We just speak "straight." It's you who have the accent.
They don't have the excuse of youth when they proclaim "I have no ideology; I just think straight; it's *you* who are the ideologue."
An accent is a characteristic way of speaking. It's impossible to speak in no way whatever. An ideology is a set of conclusions about ethics and politics. It's impossible to judge the merits of proposed legislation on no basis whatsoever, with no appeal to standards, and no reliance on conclusions drawn long ago in ethics and politics.
And, in fact, both sides have *plenty* of conclusions about what's right and wrong and about the proper role of government. It's only that they aren't able to articulate their premises and standards (except in vague cliches) and have zero ability to defend them.
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