Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I've got your polarization right here!

It is taken as a given that the “increasing polarization” in American politics and culture has grave implications, talking heads on both sides of the spectrum lament the “culture war” and the “widening divide” or the “ideology gap.” President Bush ran as a “uniter not a divider” and plenty of conversations that I have had over the past few weeks and months have had a decidedly, “can’t-we-all-just-get-along” theme.

That is a natural evolution of our post modern educational system, where everyone’s opinions are equally valuable and viable, and everyone’s cultural experience is equally “good.” We have taught them that there is no “Truth” with a capital “T”--- that truth is just a social construct. In our postmodernist climate, the universal battle cry is “Who are we to judge?” and “Everyone is entitled to their opinions.”

I am here to say that while everyone may be entitled, it doesn’t make them correct. One of the greatest disservices that we have done to young people is to imply that great achievements can be made without great efforts or sacrifice--- that all opinions are equally viable. The idea that you can just sit around and dream about greatness and it will happen for you, without great efforts and studies and risk taking. Show me a man of great achievement and I will show you a man that has dedicated his being to that purpose.

I digress, what I really wanted to comment on was the “culture wars.” Some wish to shy away from the culture wars, or act as though they are above it all, too intellectually pure to sully themselves with the hard work of making and defending declarative statements of principle.

I say: BRING IT ON! We should welcome honest and informed disagreement. Welcome the opportunity to empirically demonstrate the correctness of your beliefs. If you cannot, then maybe you are wrong, or maybe you don’t know why you believe what you believe. Notice I say honest and informed....

In the 1400’s the majority of the world believed that the planet was flat, they were entitled to their opinions, but they were wrong…and so it is today. Few believe the world is flat, but many believe all sorts of clap-trap. It is a time for the Christopher Columbus of this century to sail his Nina and Pinta and Santa Maria right over the edge and show the world where it is wrong.


Anonymous JW said...

This will be fun.

11:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home