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Apr 27, 2009

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Travis Greene

"People certainly change parties when their beliefs conflict with party platforms or leaders. But Layman and Carsey have found the opposite happening as well. People are changing their minds to align with their parties’ positions."

I think this is spot-on. If the whole political landscape is divided up into teams, and you have to pick a team, there's enormous pressure to conform to the team you pick. This is true for both parties/ideologies.

And in true Orwellian fashion, language stops existing for those who don't fit into the 2 categories. What are you if you're not conservative or liberal? Moderate? Centrist? Do those terms have any meaning at all, except in reference to the binary?

Michael W. Kruse

"What are you if you're not conservative or liberal? Moderate? Centrist? Do those terms have any meaning at all, except in reference to the binary?"

Exactly!

On many issues (not all) there is a polarity at work, not an either/or dynamic. Breathing is a polarity of inhaling and exhaling. If someone is suffering respiratory problems, then we might differ in our assessment of how this polarity is out of balance, but we would be nuts to conclude its all about either inhaling or exhaling. Yet this is precisely how our binary politics frames everything. Justice is frequently an exercise in balancing multiple competing legitimate concerns.

Both conservative and liberal narratives are definitive either/or narratives. I think the challenge is how do we form a narrative that makes room for the real world existence of polarities and multivariate justice.

Rick McGinniss

Interesting post by FoxBusiness guru Cody Willard that's along the same lines (or on the front lines) of this issue:

http://cody.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2009/04/17/dont-let-them-pigeonhole-meor-you/

I like his term "post-partisan."

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks for the link Rick.

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