14 September 2006

Blended people?

This is interesting, from a Pajamas Media poll in October of last year: "A full 43% of those responding felt that the liberal nor conservative labels did not really apply to them, a percentage vastly greater than those who identified with either polarity." It's not clear to me whether this means 43% of bloggers or 43% of the general public, but either way it's encouraging.

Moreover, most of these people aren't "centrists", according to the poll. Many of them held "leftist" views on some issues, while holding "rightist" views on other issues. For this reason, PJM refers to them as "blended people".

This designation, of course, assumes that the conventional rightist and leftist positions are themselves coherent and internally-consistent schools of thought, which I don't believe they are. In fact, the left and the right each seems to be a collection of positions which in many cases have no logical connection with each other, but have merely become associated out of long habit (and perhaps for unconscious psychological reasons, but that's a subject for another article).

I think my own viewpoint is coherent and internally consistent. I believe in individual freedom. Individuals should be able to choose abortion or own guns without harassing restrictions, engage in whatever kind of sexual activity they want with whomever they want (among consenting adults), say and write whatever they want regardless of whether it offends some favored group, have their incomes taxed at the lowest possible rate consistent with the government carrying out its basic functions, live however they want without being pestered by social engineering projects designed to encourage behavior some bureaucrat thinks is "better". As a pragmatist I favor tough and even ruthless measures against anything which threatens to destroy or undermine our free society, whether it's external enemies, violent crime within society, or out-of-control illegal immigration (for more detail, see here). I suppose PJM would call me a "blended person". I see nothing "blended" about it. It's the person who argues that individuals should be free to choose abortion but not to own guns (or vice versa) who is struggling to rationalize an awkward and self-contradicting mix --and yes, I've read quite a few of those attempted rationalizations.

PJM is holding a contest (click their link on the very first word of this posting) to come up with a good name for us non-pigeonholeable "blended people". The question's tougher than it sounds because such people don't share any particular ideology (someone exactly opposite to me -- who favored high taxes, censorship, open borders, unilateral disarmament, prohibition of sex outside marriage, and bans on both abortion and gun ownership, would also be a "blended person"). Why not give it a try? You could win a pair of pajamas which I'm sure will be quite fetching -- and contribute to overcoming the dangerous polarization of America between those annoying leftists and rightists.



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