Big Tent Or Half-Tent-Plus-One
There are two basic views of how a society should be organized that can be the basis of a political system. They are: We’re all in this together; or Us against them.
This leads to two basic political identities. They are: I’m a caring American/Christian/person; or I’m a taxpayer.
Based on these views of how a society should be organized, and how people in this society see themselves, we get two approaches to governance: Generating harmony (the big tent); or Divide and rule (the half-tent plus one).
Today’s leading national proponent of the Us against them, I’m a taxpayer ID, divide and rule approach is Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. No one has had more success with this approach. By not making things better for anyone but a tiny few people on the top, he has nonetheless managed to squeak out election victories in his home state with a theme that might be summed up this way: People just a little better off than you must be brought down to your level.
Similar successes with this approach are also on view in many other places around the country. In Kansas, for example, a new law prevents folks receiving public assistance from using any of this aid to pay for a movie or go to a swimming pool — deriving relief from the Kansas summer sun in an air conditioned movie theater or swimming pool considered just a sop to “Them” paid for by abused taxpayers.
America seems to be getting smaller every day. The way we’re going, we may soon disappear as a civilized country altogether. Too bad. We once did better.
[This author’s newest book, Gorilla Warfare Against The Bureaucratic State — Confessions of a Lefty Libertarians, is now available from Amazon]