Am I an oddball?
Yes, but that isn’t the Great Philosophical Question.
The Great Philosophical Question is this: Why are people divided politically into left (aka liberal) and right (aka conservative)?
Is this the result of human nature or something else?
Only an oddball would ask such questions, someone who thinks that choosing between the left and the right is like choosing between getting a stick in his eye or beans up his nose.
Examples of sticks in the eye include Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Chris Matthews.
Examples of beans up the nose include George W. Bush, John Boehner, John McCain, and Sean Hannity.
The human condition is already pitiful in that we Homo sapiens have to subjugate ourselves to political charlatans. It’s even more pitiful that we have to choose between psychotics on the left and psychotics on the right.
Chimpanzees have better choices. Their silverbacks are not psychotic. Also, while members of a chimpanzee troop may show deference to the silverback by picking fleas off his back, they don’t salute him, revere him, erect statues in his honor, turn out en masse to listen to his speeches, don’t get tingles up their legs at the sight of him, and don’t play “Hail to the Silverback.”
I’d rather pick fleas off Obama’s back then listen to his lies.
Sure, politics is one of the disgusting jobs in society that has to be done by someone. The same with pumping out septic tanks. The difference is that the politician is accorded more respect than the septic worker, although the latter is in a more honorable profession.
When I was 15, I read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, in an attempt at that young age to understand how Hitler and the Final Solution came about. A slow learner, I’m still searching for the answer in my declining years. One of the most disturbing scenes I’d ever seen on TV was when hundreds of thousands of Germans gathered on July 24, 2008, to hear presidential candidate Obama speak at Berlin’s Tiergarten Park, near the area where many ministries of the Third Reich were located in the 1930s. Apparently, Germans hadn’t learned a damn thing in 75 years. They were still showering adoration and adulation on a charismatic politician. It didn’t seem to cross their crazed minds that the world might be a better and safer place if they had stayed home and eaten wiener schnitzel and picked fleas off their dachshunds and shepherds instead of turning out in a scene reminiscent of a Leni Riefenstahl film to cheer someone who had floated to the top of the political septic tank of Chicago and then to the top of the larger and more disgusting septic tank of Washington.
Granted, the left and the right have some good attributes. The left is concerned with civil liberties, fairness and social justice; and the right, with property rights, voluntary association, and economic freedom.
But these attributes are not mutually exclusive or dichotomous, as we’ve been led to believe by the political parties and by the partisan numbskulls in the media and academia. The fact is that civil liberties can’t exist for long without economic freedom, and economic freedom can’t exist for long without civil liberties. History has shown what happens when there is one without the other. What happens is Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Stalin, Hirohito, Pol Pot, genocide, slavery, concentration camps, starvation, poverty, and Justin Bieber.
Back to the Great Philosophical Question: Why are people divided politically into left and right? Is it genetic, or social conditioning, or due to a childhood trauma, like seeing Hillary Clinton or Rush Limbaugh naked?
Leftists are so obsessed with race and class that they embrace political correctness, speech codes, and diversity dogma, in contradiction of their stated belief in free speech. And they have such a fetish for fairness that they use state power to try to achieve equal outcomes, which results in gross unfairness. These are psychoses, not reasoned positions.
Rightists are so obsessed with authority, flag, country, and anything in a uniform that they embrace nationalism, jingoism, the war on drugs, and wars in general. And they are such control freaks that they use state power to achieve their ends, in contradiction of their stated belief in individual liberty and small government. These also are psychoses.
Psychologists say that humans are ten percent reason, rationality and logic; and ninety percent emotion, intuition and instinct. The Democrat and Republican parties are living proof of this lopsided ratio.
So am I.
As such, I don’t have an answer to the Great Philosophical Question. Nor have I been able to find an answer from the great philosophers of the last 2,000 years. I just know that I’m an oddball who doesn’t fit on the left-right continuum.
Maybe I’m psychotic.
Mencken’s Ghost can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.