February 23, 2018

Gun nuts are libertarian and embody liberal, not conservative, morality (harm prevention + fairness)

With its roots in the second half of the 1970s, and scoring one win after another beginning with the Reagan era, the gun nut movement does not fit with the timeline of socially and culturally conservative values -- that would be the Midcentury, whether under FDR or Eisenhower -- but rather with the timeline of libertarianism, whether under Reagan or Clinton.

The NRA did not begin its hardline lobbying efforts until the mid-'70s, which also saw the birth of the Gun Owners of America, an even more hardline group. For both organizations, the main goal is deregulation of gun laws, placing it squarely within the broader laissez-faire trend of the past 40 years.

Such groups are kindred spirits with other deregulatory organizations that represent business interests (here, firearms manufacturers), like the Chamber of Commerce, who have been mainstays of the Reaganite era that we are still in, and that have actually scored big under the regime. They are no more of an "activist" group than the CoC, and we gain nothing from emulating their model if we are not also a deregulatory lobby group.

Social-cultural conservatives have seen jack squat in results from Reagan's two terms, Bush Sr., two terms of Bush Jr., and now Trump. Take any top issue for the Moral Majority types that libertarians don't care about -- pornography, homosexuality, divorce and broken homes, drugs and alcohol, gambling, religion in public places -- and all they've received is lip service.

And it's not for lack of electoral commitment to the GOP -- they just don't fit in with the laissez-faire impulse behind the Reaganite revolution. In fact, conservative morality is defined by placing all sorts of regulations on individual and collective behavior in order to obtain a more harmonious state of being at a collective level, such as the community (a difference explored in this post).

The gun groups won't even dignify the candidates of conservatives with an endorsement. Indeed, the more hardline the gun group, the more libertarian they prefer their Republican candidates to be -- in the 2008 primaries, the GOA endorsed Ron Paul, not the social-cultural conservative Mike Huckabee.

To explore what moral themes the gun nut movement resonates with, we'll rely on Jonathan Haidt's model of five: harm prevention / provision of care, fairness / justice, deference to authority, in-group loyalty, and purity / taboo.

Liberals tend to resonate primarily with the themes of harm and fairness, and less so with the other three. Conservatives resonate with all of them, and are most distinct from liberals in resonating with the theme of purity / taboo. Libertarians, as it turns out, are even more liberal than liberals in their moral themes. It is not primarily about harm and fairness, but entirely about these two themes. Liberals are at least somewhat in agreement that certain things are immoral, despite being legal and practiced by consenting adults, like disgusting forms of pornography or buying and selling human organs on a market.

So what are the gun nuts' main concerns?

First, bearing arms in order to practice self-defense from harm and destruction, whether of one's body or property. Preventing the harm of others also enters into the mindset, although theirs is mostly an individual-level focus -- showing down mano-a-mano with a bad guy who would do the gun-owner harm in a situation where the gun-owner is alone, or at least with no companions to have his back.

And second, doing so in order to re-balance the cosmic scales of justice, which have been thrown outta-whack by the bad guy. The gun nuts don't imagine drawing their weapon on someone who doesn't deserve it, but on someone who has already violated the law. They are also quick to emphasize that guns are the great equalizers, leveling the playing field between a skinny introvert like Bernie Goetz and a pack of beasts who try to prey on him on the subway.

This shows that their concerns are urban and suburban forms of violent crime, not the kind that rural residents face where there literally is no government nearby to protect them.

There's no relation to the theme of preserving purity from corruption, or upholding taboos, which makes it feel not distinctly conservative.

They do try to relate it to the sacred by linking it to the Second Amendment, and viewing the Constitution as a sacred text. But carrying and wielding a firearm is not done in service of preserving something sacred from being defiled -- as though they drew their weapon to stop a bad guy who was defecating on a copy of the Constitution or burning the American flag (the secular sacred), let alone to defend something that is religiously sacred like the Christian cross.

It's conceivable that the gun nuts could mobilize to defend Us against Them (in-group loyalty), but they do not behave that way, and do not have that in mind. Look at the hordes of immigrants pouring in -- no call to arms from the NRA, whether to collectively defend against invaders generally or, say, radical Muslims specifically.

At best, the Minutemen might organize to defend the border against illegal immigrants, but again that only has to do with fairness and justice -- mass immigration is permissible, as long as it's done legally. If mass immigration is to be challenged, they think it should be done by peacefully lobbying Congress rather than taking up arms in collective defense.

And the gun nut movement flies in the face of the theme of respecting and deferring to authority. It is explicitly about assuming an authority unto oneself, rather than delegating it to the usual authorities. If the authority figure insisted on its prerogative to use force to defend against harm and destruction, at the expense of the individual gun-owner doing so, the gun nut would escalate this into a turf war over who has the say-so, rather than deferring.

Indeed, the gun nut has a low view of authority figures, who are either too inept, too ignorant, or too callous to properly protect people from harm and property from destruction. In the nut's view, the authorities have too many protocols and regulations (imposed by that hidebound District Attorney), and too rigid of a chain-of-command structure (imposed by that out-of-touch desk jockey Chief of Police). The nut imagines liberating himself from these constraints by carrying a weapon himself, and following intuitive guidelines instead.

No one should overlook how anti-Establishment and anti-authoritarian the tough-on-crime movies of the 1970s and '80s were felt to be by contemporary audiences, whether the protagonist was an insider railing against the system like Dirty Harry or an outright vigilante as in Death Wish. The governmental authority structure was too unreliable for whatever combination of causes, and had to be substituted by a private citizen's use of force to prevent harm. Nor were they group-oriented -- it was not an organization of fellow citizens banding together as a para-police force, but a lone wolf defending himself or opening fire on behalf of others.

These movies reflected rather than shaped popular opinion of the time, but they're useful to study since they're so well preserved, unlike the opinions of real-life ordinary people.

It is this kind of vigilante fantasy that all Boomers share as a reference point for how to prevent crime, including the president (all the more so in his case, being so immersed in the media/entertainment world).

Even the Boomers who are against vigilantism assume that that's the only real option being discussed (it is), and spend their time arguing against vigilantism and by extension the whole gun nut movement associated with it, including arguing against gun rights broadly (Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC). It's not that the anti-gun Boomers are as deferential toward authority as conservatives are, they're just more confident in the government than are their libertarian peers. Thus with no conservatives among them, the Boomers argue between liberals and libertarians -- on this and all other issues.

We really need to hear a sober, reflective, cogent view on the role of guns in society from a social-cultural conservative who has communitarian rather than libertarian leanings. Look to Gen X for these voices.

In the meantime, here are three earlier posts with variations on the general theme of this one:

First, the myth of "Christian terrorism," which suggests a link to social-cultural conservatives, when right-wing violence actually comes from libertarian types who reveal a secular liberal morality, lack of church attendance or other religious practice, and a suspicion and antipathy toward authority and government.

That includes some school shooters, who are described as conservative despite abundant evidence of being libertarian and hostile to conservative values. Perhaps this is why the gun nuts get all the more defensive after a school shooting -- the killer's beliefs are more akin to their own, only acting out of a vindictive sense of justice (settling scores) rather than in self-defense.

Second, the pro-life movement as just another form of victimhood feminism (mother = victim, abortion doctor = criminal). It focuses on the liberal morality of preventing harm -- i.e., advancing the argument that abortion is murder. Ironically, this turns the debate away from morality, as everyone agrees that murder is wrong, and makes it a scientific debate about when "life" begins. A conservative view would focus on the warping of a natural process -- terminating a pregnancy -- and resonate with the theme of preserving what is natural over what is artificial (purity).

Third, prepping for cataclysms and neglecting ordinary emergencies. The gun nuts focus more on zombie apocalypse scenarios, causing them to neglect the kinds of problems that the typical conservadad has to show stewardship over at the home, office, and neighborhood.

As we shift out of the Reagan regime, first under the attempted but failed re-alignment of the GOP under Trump, and then by the Bernie sympathizers, we will adopt a new morality that focuses on the re-regulation of social life -- whether that's the economy or personal behavior. Remember, the Progressive Era was coincident with the Temperance movement.

Bernie is not a degenerate libertine like Bill Clinton, or Hillary for that matter, and his Millennial supporters want to be free of crushing student loan debt so that they can get married and start a family like normal people -- not so they can waste their newfound income on strippers and skipping out on child support payments like the Boomers. And Tulsi Gabbard could not be a more wholesome role model unless we saw her knitting slouchy beanies in between catching waves.

The late Gen X-ers and Millennials have lived through just about enough chaos and anarchy, from their vulnerable formative years up to the present, and they wouldn't mind a return to regulated life, to finally enjoy the normalcy like the ungrateful Boomers grew up under during the Wonder Years.


  1. Communitarian Gun Nut2/23/18, 4:06 PM

    I don't disagree with this, but I would put it perhaps a little differently:

    The NRA and other gun-rights groups have had the success they've had since the 70s (and more communitarian-minded approaches have failed) because they've been able to tap into the zeitgeist of the Reagan-and-the-Boomers era. "Gun rights" resonates sort of the same way as "abortion rights" or "gay rights" or other "liberal" causes that are dressed up in "individual rights" / "freedom from oppression" language, even if the particular rights in question tend on average to resonate with different groups of people.

    That is also a big part of the reason why the predominant rhetoric around guns is individualist/libertarian; that's what flies in today's society, and in that sense, the NRA and similar groups are like the 70s movies you mention, reflections of the zeitgeist. In comparison, rhetoric about purity or deference to authority, nobody listens.

    Maybe soon, though...

  2. You're talking more about their rhetoric, though, not their behavior regarding guns -- what are they planning to use them for?

    They're not simply using libertarian individualist rhetoric in order to resonate with the zeitgeist, while carrying or planning to use guns in a way that is broader than individual libertarianism -- to band together in collective defense against hordes of immigrants, or to stop defilers from desecrating something sacred.

    The Temperance movement used to wield weapons in order to close down the saloons and curb drunkenness, prostitution, and gambling. The union organizers and members used to take up arms in collective defense against Pinkerton guards or even the US Army who were trying to break their labor strike.

    With all of the foreign-owned property in this country, you could imagine a national liberation group taking up arms to seize control of productive assets on behalf of the in-group, at the expense of the out-group owners.

    The gun nuts not only do not behave in these ways, it's not even in the back of their minds to form an armed patrol outside of a strip club or legal marijuana store, in order to keep customers out and prevent purity from being corrupted. Commerce schmommerce.

    If anything, these are the people who are OK with as many strip clubs and legal pot shops as the law and market forces will allow. They would take up arms to *defend* these polluters of purity and blights on the community, not to close them down.

  3. You also see that in which functions of the governmental armed forces the gun nuts choose to replace with their own use of armed force.

    Police have vice squads, and they were far more active in conservative times like the Midcentury -- raiding a gambling den, arresting homosexuals who were committing sodomy in gay nightclubs, patrolling the streets to remove streetwalkers.

    Do gun nuts even think about, let alone attempt to carry out these functions of what they perceive as an authority structure that has fallen into unreliability? Where's the urgency for private armed citizens to step in where the state has failed in performing these functions?

    Obviously they don't view those functions of the government as legitimate in the first place -- whatever consenting adults do behind closed doors is none of the gun nut's business.

    The last time that pop culture featured a more puritanical gun nut was Taxi Driver, right as that mindset was becoming eclipsed by libertarianism.

    He starts with garden variety vigilantism against an armed robber to prevent harm or theft, but then escalates to shooting up the pimps and johns in a brothel. The whole time, he's stewing in how disgusting, filthy, polluted, and defiled his environment is becoming. Both the physical environment reeking of waste and the social environment with pimps, druggies, and other degenerates doing whatever makes them feel good.

    At the end, his reward is a heartfelt letter of thanks from the parents of the underage prostitute -- not thanking him for policing the boundaries of the Non-Aggression Principle, which may prohibit prostitution for the underage. It was to thank him for preventing her from being further defiled and degraded, and returned back to her wholesome family and community roots.

  4. *Squinting at NRA bumper-sticker on Polaris Slingshot in front of me*

    "Feminazis want to shut down our strip clubs. God gave us our 2nd Amendment to shut down the feminazis."

    [Image of Nancy Pelosi's ugly face in cross-hairs while holding picket sign next to hot strippers, with buff anthropomorphic bald eagle getting a lapdance while holding AR-15 in one hand and giving a grinning thumbs-up with the other]

  5. "A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged" -- also a sign that these people are still liberals, only they're adjusting their worldview from naive to cynical about the presence of bad guys.

    But liberal vs. conservative morality is not about the presence of evil -- rather, how to respond in this case or that case, what is permissible vs. not permissible, and so on.

    Even a liberal's moral code allows for violent self-defense to prevent violence initiated by someone else. Some liberals just start off believing they'll never have to resort to that because unprovoked violence is rare and won't ever target them.

    When they do get targeted, they reset their assumption about what kind of environment they're in. But nothing has changed in their moral code about what is permissible or not, how to respond in one set of conditions or another, etc.

    And if nothing has changed in their morality, the phrase should really be "A libertarian is a liberal who has been mugged".

  6. We always hear snark about "After the latest Muslim terror attack, I'll bet the British sure are glad that they aren't allowed to carry guns."

    The gun nuts in America are not even considering taking up arms against violent immigrants, whether particular immigrants or organized violent gangs like MS-13. Now *that* is where we could use a little paramilitary force on behalf of the in-group.

    And yet, what have the gun nuts done to get rid of MS-13? They aren't simply fighting them in a half-assed way, they aren't doing shit at all.

    Defending our freedom to get high inside a strip club operated by MS-13 whose dancers are human-trafficked from El Salvador.

  7. Haidt added a 6th axis, liberty/oppression, and noted that conservatives and liberals care about that the same, only in different ways (conservatives care about their groups--family, community, nation--while liberals care about victim minorities). Libertarians care _only_ about this axis, like true monomaniacs. Did you even read the book?

    Also, I'm a bit stumped that you missed the rising tide of crime in the 60s & 70s--combined with apparent collusion from the authorities in favor of criminals--to explain the upgunning of the population. I got a gun in 1992--for self defense. City policemen in an Eastern city told me to.

    Crime likewise went down after the population became fairly hardened, with alarm systems, guns, etc.

  8. From Isteve:

    "When I think of Marion le Pen and Nigel Farage I think, Why can’t patriotic conservatives in America elect themselves a leader who’s smart and articulate?
    • Agree: Dan Hayes"

    Well, The American "conservative" movement has primarily been a 3 legged stool since 1946 (whatever happened before then is another story, but we'll focus on 1946 since that's when "modern" America came into being).

    1)Foreign policy interventionism, even more so since the GOP won the South in the later 70's
    2)Ostentatious Christian fundamentalism (once again, increasing in the later 70's)
    3) Ostensibly increasing "freedom" and reducing government, basically libertarian type stuff. This seems to date back a long ways, it's why Northeastern WASPs used to dominate the GOP before fundie nutbags in the South and West alienating large swaths of the Northeast and Eastern Midwest. Free market worship is an inheritance from elite Anglo society, which has never quite been as saleable to those who are neither upper class British nor yuppie Jews. The Dutch/Germans and Brit Midlanders who pre-dominated much of PA and the Midwest still have an uneasy relationship with WASP elites (and their Jewish fellow travelers), figuring that all this hooey about free markets and "invisible hands" is just a ruse to perpetuate the privilege and snobbery that mark the upper class of New York and London.

    What kind of "leaders" do you get when you spend that much time in the post-mid 70's GOP rubber room? The GOP has to try and appeal to Atlanticist snobs (including Romney and the Bushes), Celtic brawlers, and goofball Jayzuz lovin' Ned Flanders types. There's a reason the GOP wasn't at all trusted by younger generations since the Bush era.

    For that matter, a lot of mid-late X-ers grew up deriding Ronnie Raygun, since the material conditions of their upbringing didn't match the glossy rhetoric frequently issuing from the mouths of 1980's conservatives who began pumping the Horatio Alger stuff hard, since they didn't want to accept accountability for trashing the safety net and other public works which was both a cause and a consequence of private iniquity. None other than a Boomer, Peggy Noonan, penned some of the most floridly memorable lines given to Reagan. But the 80's would be the last period (before the later 2010's) where anyone bothered to express surprise and disappointment that public image and words would contain so little correspondence to reality. Our first Boomer president, Clinton, clearly didn't even sincerely believe a lot of the BS he said, being that him and his wife led the first American regime that literally took polls on which particular words and phrases were persuasive. While you could say the early Reaganites were destructively naive and misguided ideologues, the rising generation of "corporate Democrats" (mainly Boomers with a few sociopath Silents) were obvious crooks out to get while the gettin' was good.


  9. "Crime likewise went down after the population became fairly hardened, with alarm systems, guns, etc."

    The youth risk behavior survey shows that violence, drug use, etc. declined considerably from about 2000-2005 among high school kids. In other words, the Lord of the Flies type atmosphere associated with teens from the 60's-90's was mainly a generational thing. Adolescent Boomers and Gen X-ers were a handful.

    Crime is primarily committed by young males. If indicators of overall poor behavior peaked with people born from roughly 1950-1980, it therefore follows that crime would be a huge problem in the late 60's-1990's. And indeed crime was terrible back then, with two main peaks, the "coke wave" of the late 70's/early 80's and the "crack wave" of the late 80's/early 90's, the former being caused by Boomers and the latter caused by Boomers and Gen X-ers. The glory days of Reagan (1983-1986) did momentarily diminish the mayhem. It's worth noting that in the "innocent" (comparatively) 60's and early 70's, most Boomers had only dabbled with pot, and a smaller number maybe did mushrooms/LSD/acid, etc. But by the late 70's many Boomers had ingested/smoked/injected God knows how many kinds of drugs. A lot of them were pretty much fried, psychotic, by the peak disco era. Drug use diminished considerably by around 1983, and people seemed to settle down. Then crack came on the scene in the later 80's and a lot of blacks went nuts, causing a massive crime wave that didn't peter out until around 1994.

  10. Homicide rates rose from at least 1900 to 1933, were full of gory details on the front page, yet did not lead to upgunning of the population -- just the opposite.

    Nor was there other "hardening" of the population -- it was cocooning then, and cocooning now, that sent the crime rate tumbling.

    The ultimate hardening is not letting your guard down, so you don't let others get close enough to take advantage of you, or don't venture out into such vulnerable spaces to begin with.

    But unlike in the 1970s, during the early 20th-C crime wave, they were entering a period of greater regulation and collective action (the Progressive Era, followed by the New Deal).

    So they never got it into their minds that the gubmint can't do its job right and that, sadly, we private individuals need to prepare to take the law into our own hands.

    Haidt's addition of the 6th axis was just in response to special pleading from conservatives. Justice/oppression is the same as, or a subset of, the fairness theme. Principal components analysis aims for as *few* factors as possible, not adding more in order to please some audience.

  11. It's not only the US that has seen crime rates falling for decades, after decades of rising. It was the entire Western world.

    So we can look at those other countries and see if they have similar trends to us in some factor. If they do, it's a potential cause for crime declining. If they do not, then we can eliminate it as a spurious "cause".

    Has Canada armed itself like crazy, or Britain, or Sweden, or Italy, or France, or Germany? No. So there goes that factor.

    What has changed across all countries is the age structure -- the Baby Boom was across the Western world, and made the population much more risk-taking and violent once that bulging cohort entered its crime-prone years. Likewise, once they aged out of those years, crime fell.

    I think it's a bit more complex than that, since their kids -- the echo boom -- should have had a similar effect on raising crime rates, but they did not. It's more like the ratio of young to old. The first boom had only a bulge in the young ages, unmatched by a bulge in the older ages. With the echo boom, the new bulge was matched by the old bulge (their parents), who kept them more in check.

    And also the outgoing vs. cocooning social atmosphere. People in all Western countries were outgoing, trusting, and unquestioning about going into vulnerable spaces during the 1970s, opening themselves up to criminals preying on them.

    People in all Western countries have become far more closed-off and cocooning over the past couple decades, giving criminals no opportunity to easily get at them.

  12. Cocooning is a big factor, no doubt, and an effect of it is generational. Boomers are way more trusting and open minded than neighboring generations, and as such, were more likely to accept rides from strangers, accept possibly dubious drugs, and the like. That's because they all experienced junior high and/or senior high school in the 60's-early 80's, when impressionable youngsters were ignoring whatever warnings or guidelines their elders were expressing (to the extent that Boomers were advised to begin with).

    By the mid-80's, there's a sense of fatigue and wariness growing about free-wheeling young people, and the next-in line generation starts to put it's guard up. In the later 80's, Gen X youth were beginning to focus more on studies and even getting jobs, relative to what young Boomers did. There's still a decent number of (typically proleish and often black) Gen X-ers who get into trouble, but the more obnoxious ones (like the pot burnouts) are often disdained by the more conscientious X-ers. Whereas Boomers typically had a live and let live mentality ("you can take whatever you want, but you better not take it from me"). By the late 90's, most Boomers are too old (and too incarcerated, sick, or dead) to be causing that much trouble anymore, and Gen X-ers (not to mention Millennials) are telling people to chill out. As you can tell from how much boring music Gen X-ers made in the later 90's.

    Lastly, there are thing possibly related to but still distinct from cocooning, like drug epidemics, that influence crime. I don't think it's coincidental that drug use apparently peaked when property crime peaked in 1979. And just one year later, we hit the all-time homicide rate peak. Use of all drugs (pot, coke, etc.) declined a great deal, in all demographics, from about 1981-1985 as society began to vilify drugs. In Terminator from '84, a detective thinks that the cyborg villain was a normal guy hopped up on PCP. In '86, Metallica (a heavy metal band!) criticized cocaine as decadent and self-destructive. And this was pop culture for teens, not house wives. Yet by around 1986, crack-cocaine began to ravage every major black area, and homicide levels eventually rose to 70's/very early 80's levels again. Whites avoided the plague, mostly, and as such we began to see something quite familiar: blacks being vastly over-represented among criminals, to an increasing degree with every passing generation. But at least with crack becoming stigmatized over the past 20+ years, blacks are much better off these days

  13. "With the echo boom, the new bulge was matched by the old bulge (their parents), who kept them more in check."

    It's also the parents being canaries in the coal mine. Gen X-ers and especially Millennials had parents who were separated, broke, in jail, or otherwise miserable.

    Boomers, on the other hand, could romanticize anti-social behavior because they generally had G.I. and early Silent parents who were model citizens, products of a "prudish" era that young Boomers vilified. On the off-chance that a Boomer didn't have idyllic parents, he'll be sure to remind you about his poverty, neglect, abuse, or whatever. Really, though, X-ers and early Millennials were far more likely to have a difficult upbringing than the Boomers. We just don't talk about it all that much because we figure it's common knowledge that life isn't easy and also, that a lot of other people probably went thru similar things and why bother depressing everyone?

    Parents also tend to want to have their kids get an upbringing that's the opposite of their own. So Boomer parents in the 80's and 90's desperately tried to instill into their kids the notion that we shouldn't just think of ourselves, or short-term thrills, when we make choices. Moral principle over pleasure.

    X-er parents try to minimize the uncertainty of what their kids may be going thru, and they also really wish to minimize the choices that their kids have. Structure instead of chaos. It's no so much a moral issue as it is a psychological one; how many generations do we need who are battered and cynical at a young age?

    We see how the emphasis on freedom/choices changes. X-er kids have free rein, Millennials get a restricted range of choices, and post-Millennials have very little say at all.

  14. Gun nut is a pejorative.

    The NRA is a single issue group with some loose ties to fear of crime simply because its a prime reason people buy guns and crime was politicized to confiscate firearms

    Its not libertarian per say except in the classically liberal way most Conservative Americans who make up the bulk of the membership is and the political spectrum of its members is all over the place

    I also think you miss a key part of the equation. As you've noted many times there are large parts of the country (basically most every large city) where there is no rootedness or community to speak of.

    Since everyone around you is a foreigner or at least a stranger there recently and you can't trust them or often even understand how they think or what they speak , you can't organize.

    Mass immigration and eliminating a stable job market really a brilliant way to kill off the over-culture actually.

    The effects you get though are a population arming themselves , the media reflection of that is the Zombie Apocalypse movie . In essence anyone not on your family or who is not "fam" is a threat

    You don't get this in Europe as they aren't anywhere near as overrun as we are and they have a rooted identity and to a degree a responsive government

    Also a great many people do not believe many institutions outside the military and their local church if they have one can be salvaged or really even should be if they could.

    The political divide (totalitarian/authoritarian Left vs liberal/authoritarian Right) is bad enough that mainstream right wingers are starting to rehabilitate Pinochet in the way Leftists did Che

    You can't run, you can't hide, you get helicopter ride

    Given the difficulty of building solidarity (something that is changing) of deciding on what to replace the current system with (its too diverse and low trust for Social Democracy) and the fact the system seems to be imploding on its own, it makes a great deal of sense to not act

    Neo Reaction calls the Passivism FWIW

    That said the Left is feeling frisky and looking for a fight, its come to blows on both sides and political attacks from the Left on elected officials and a massacre in Vegas that was almost certainly political in nature but thus far no Right Wing reprisals

    This kind of thing cannot go on indefinitely especially with low trust in institutions

    A last bit, its logical that our Conservative party has classical liberal elements and clings to them. The original federal system was minimalist and almost everything we sue the state for these days was private.

    Since much of the culture has been destroyed , protecting some part of it, even a semi mythical "muh Constitution." makes sense to me

  15. How do you reconcile Haidt's framework (Righteous Mind) with Gelman's work (Red state blue state)? Can both really be true? Does Haidt's work apply mostly to identity politics?


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