Pre-born Liberals and Conservatives?

20 03 2009

From former senator Gary Hart (he’s authored a book, ““Restoration of the Republic: The Jeffersonian Ideal in 21st-Century America”) in the NYT:

One mystery remains. Why are there always liberals and conservatives and what makes us so?

After all the sociologizing about family tradition, geography, religion, economic status, blue and red states, and clan influence, perhaps Gilbert and Sullivan came closest:

“I often think it’s comical / How Nature always does contrive / That every boy and every gal / That’s born into the world alive / Is either a little Liberal / Or else a little ­Conservative!”

Once inside the ideological matrix, however, things do get interesting.
. . .Ideas matter, and ideas synthesized into political ideologies have enormous consequences. . . As theorems and conjectures are to mathematics and quantum mechanics is to physics, so ideas and the principles of governance are to politics.

. . .The mutant strain of present-day conservatism has not wanted to reverse the New Deal; it has wanted to reverse the Enlightenment.

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