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An American Cold (Civil) War

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This country is no longer a melting pot. That is what the people on the Far Right would have us all believe. America is no longer the place where people can differ in their political opinions, differ in their religious beliefs, or differ in their culture. For the Right Wing, its assimilate or be damned!

And because of this, a civil war is slowly erupting in America. As Bush wages a war in Iraq using our military, Americans are fighting a cold war against one another at home. And it seems as though the cold war is getting warmer each day.

Whereas our nation’s prior civil war was fought on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Antietam, and Bull Run, the current war is being fought on the Internet, television, and radio. But what exactly are we all “fighting” about?

Basically, it comes down to two diametrically opposed world views. And as pervasive as the world views are, they are rarely discussed openly. Instead, we publicly fight over the issues that extend from the world views.

On the one hand, you have the Left, which accepts that the world as an uncertain and chaotic place, a place where people have differing views, religions, cultures, and backgrounds, yet sharing a common humanity. And on the Right, which holds that the world can (and must!) be ordered under the auspices of an American umbrella of Judeo-Christian religion, culture, and Right Wing politics. (See, Project for the New American Century and “full spectrum dominance”.)

Pursuant to the Left, we are all unique and different on the outside, but inherently human and similar on the inside. For the Right, they believe they have the answers, and essentially, we all need to assimilate in culture, religious values, and politics…or else!

The Right wants to close the borders, make English the official and exclusive language, and ‘purify the non-believers.’ The Left wants to live and let live. The Right believes it can build nations by force. The Left believes nations build themselves, one person at a time. The Right preaches Christianity, but acts out social Darwinism. The Left speaks of scientific evolution, but acts out Christianity. The Left wants the government to serve the people (social security, nationalized health care, public education, etc.), the Right wants the people to serve the government (tax cuts for the ruling class, corporate welfare, expandsion of the military industrial complex, attacks on civil liberties, etc.).

These are the world views. And like I said, they are rarely discussed. Rather, we spend our time discussing the issues that naturally extend from the unspoken views. For example, we fight over immigration, social security, healthcare, public education, and our foreign policy. But it all goes back to the world views.

Do you believe people have a right to be who they want to be, or do you believe people need to behave as similarly and narrowly as possible? Do you believe freedom means “live and let live” or “do as I say”? Is liberty something that can be controlled by a few people, or is liberty inalienably the right of every man and woman on the planet? Do you believe in “every man for himself” or “a brotherhood of man”? If you are a Christian, do believe in Christ’s words, or do you believe in the words of those who have interpreted and manipulated Christ?

Choose your side. And choose wisely.

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About The Bulldog Manifesto

  • Nancy

    Most conservatives aren’t that dogmatic; they’re very much live & let live as long as one obeys the laws, & I won’t argue w/that. You’re branding all of them with the nastiness of the far right, which is a minority (but unfortunately a vocal & very visible one) of the conservative population, just as the ‘loony left’ is a minority of the liberals. I think we all forget that the media love to pick up & exaggerate anything & everything, & have frequently been caught deliberately twisting or distorting realities in order to peddle their news/views/papers/what-have-you. If there weren’t a war going on somewhere in the world, the media would start one so they could have something to report & pontificate on.

  • I guess all the moderates have been sent to the concentration camps. Who knew?

  • Hey, I’m a moderate. Bulldog, Why do you hate my freedom?!?

  • This is way too simplistic. Your descriptions of the right and the left really only apply to a small minority of people in those two camps.

    For example, I’m constantly assailed here on BC for being ‘right wing’, yet your description of the left fits my belief system perfectly and I don’t agree with anything in your description of the right. I think you may have missed some vital nuances here.


  • Nancy

    DUH-! Damn, Dave, of COURSE it’s simplistic: d’you think anyone wants to read something the length of War & Peace, even if I had the wherewithal to write it? So…contribute some suggestions of your own; I’d actually like to hear your ideas on this. Thanks.

  • RedTard

    The two sides are not as black and white as you make them out to be. Heck, sit down and have a heart to heart with a person on the other side of the spectrum sometime and you’ll find your not as much different as you think.

    The right believes in the nature of Humans (read American dream) that provided with the right tools by society people will prosper. The freedoms we enjoy include that of competition and equality of opportunity. The right believes people are perfectly capable of making their own decisions regarding retirement, education, health care, and how to spend their own money. The right believes that in most cases people control their own destinies. Successful people are that way because they chose to make the sacrifices in school and at work to earn their position in society. Likewise, “unsuccessful” people made the tradeoff of wealth for leisure and short term fun. They don’t think it’s fair that hardworking people should be punished to pay for irresponsible peoples bad decisions. They believe that the individual freedoms and the market economy are largely responsible for the comparative comfort we live in today.

    The left believes in the power of groups of people to effect change on society. They believe that each person is an absolutely equal clean slate and that unsuccessful individuals are a symptom of poor government management rather than bad individual choices. They believe that with the mighty power of modern industry and medicine we can and should eliminate poverty and disease in the world and provide basic needs to all people on an equal basis regardless of their input to society. The left believes that their are many instances in todays complicated world where people are not informed enough or capable of making the right decision so an extensive goverenment safety net must be erected for all those who will inevitably fail.They believe that the modern quasi-socialist democracy has been the foundation for creating the society we live in today.

  • The Kid

    Well said RedTard, I think Bulldog may have missed the irony of his statements as he screamed at the right to accept HIS views or be damned. His descriptions of the right are mind-bogglingly twisted and ignorant.

    There are people on the left, and I suggest Bulldog may be one of them, who are just as intolerant and dogmatic as those they demonize on the right. Both sides have more than their share of wackos and extremists, but to judge each side by the words and actions of these leads to very poor debate.

    We are going to continue to spin our wheels in the quagmire of uninformed debate if we cannot move beyond this type of simplistic argument.

  • >>DUH-! Damn, Dave, of COURSE it’s simplistic: d’you think anyone wants to read something the length of War & Peace, even if I had the wherewithal to write it? So…contribute some suggestions of your own; I’d actually like to hear your ideas on this. Thanks.<< It doesn't have to be the length of War and Peace to address the basic fact that the two opposing poles you cite aren't all that monolithic. The two parties contain a vast diversity of opinions and perspectives - they're really coalitions - and only tiny minorities fit into the categories you describe. Your broad definition of the 'left' really applies to almost everyone on BOTH sides of the political spectrum, and then you place in opposition an incredibly narrow definition of the 'right' which applies only to a tiny handful of extremists. How would you like it if I rephrased it this way: On the one hand, you have the Right, which believes in the value of the individual and wants to see everyone given the opportunity to live the way they want to, free from oppression or interference from others or from government - free to worship, speak, act and believe whatver they please, respecting each others humanity and individuality. And on the Left you have people who believe that our lives should be controlled and guided by the state, that everyone should share in a common secular culture indoctrinated through the school system, that businesses should be adjuncts of the government, and that wealth should be distributed based on need rather than merit or effort. That paragraph is basically the same as what you wrote, but from the opposite perspective. Does it sound like an accurate representation of the two sides? Dave

  • I appreciate your comments. I recognize that my post is somewhat simplistic. Like one poster stated, its not supposed to be exhaustive. Additionally, the post is an “opinion”, so its certainly my take on things.

    And perhaps I am stereotyping the extremes, as well. Heck, an argument could very easily be made that the left/right paradigm is completely flawed and useless.

    But on this day, this is what I was compelled to write. Good, bad, beautiful, or ugly…I just had to say it.

    I do realize that people, as individuals, aren’t so easy to categorize. In a way, I completely disagree with my own post….silly, but true. Sometimes, there is truth even in the false, and vice versa. I think my post is false, but there lies a truth in there too that I just didn’t do a good job bringing out.

    If I’ve lost you with this response, forgive me. I’ll try harder next time. 🙂

  • Buldog, your initial post/blog said all the good things about the left and all the bad things about the right. It wasn’t an issue of it being simplistic, it was being unbalanced.

    Left wingers lie based on statistics.
    Right wingers lie based on morality.

    Left wingers make things illegal based on statistics and science.
    Right wingers make things illegal based on morality and religion.

    Left wingers believe that you can change the way people think and can force people to be tolerant through laws.
    Right wingers believe that you can’t change the way people think and can’t force people to be tolerant through laws.

    Left wingers believe in higher taxes and more services and a small military.
    Right wingers believe in lower taxes and less services and a large military.

    Left wingers currently believe that the government should not be promoting religion, but they’re too wishy-washy to say such blatantly, so they rarely get what they hope for.
    Right wingers currently believe that the government should pay for churches and should promote religion in any way we can, including prayer in schools and teaching creationism in science classes.

    Left wingers believe that war is the last option, absolutely the last option, even if the country is hurt by the decision not to go to war, usually by using logical arguments, whether right or wrong.
    Right wingers believe that war is the first option and they try to cover that up as much as possible, usually by using emotional arguments, whether right or wrong.

    It’s easy to change the position of a left winger and it’s a rare thing for a left-winger to stand up for what they believe in (because what they believe in can easily change depending on receiving new information) once they’re in a position of power. They see people who can’t change the way they think based off new facts as closed-minded. Because the opinions can change so much, it’s hard to get a group of left wingers that agree on anything, which is why they’re terrible at rallying support for their causes.
    It’s hard to change the position of a right winger and it’s a common thing for a right-winger to stand up for what they believe in (because what they believe in does not change even if receiving new information) once they’re in a position of power. They see people who constantly change their opinions based on new facts as flip-floppers and unreliable. Because their opinions rarely change it’s easy to get right wingers to rally together for a cause.