In light of the recent Tea Parties, Janet Napolitano and her cronies labelled many people like myself as right-wing extremists. Now, I’m kind of used to hearing this by now given that I grew up in New Jersey and go to a university where only global-warming-fear-mongering, jihadist-appeasing (largely anti-Semitic), Marxist–sympathizing, military-hating, sovereignty–sacrificing chaps are considered moderate, but the fact that the people that defend the rights of these vitriolic parasites to protest against our right to exhale carbon dioxide and eat trans fats were labelled as threats to the peace is downright offensive.
Sure, most of the folks that came out that day might be registered as Republicans, but the line as to what determines a Republican and a Democrat to me at this point no longer exists. Practically all politicians in these parties are the same, differing only by degree of pathetic-ness (not a word according to Google, but it should be).
Thus, I have been thinking about how to describe the split between the two sides of the debate in America right now. The words that I think best summarize the political divergence are individualism versus statism or collectivism. Jonathan Hoenig lays it out pretty well here:
If you find yourself identifying with the values of the former word or phrase below, then you fall into the camp of the individualist, while if you find yourself identifying with the ladder, then you probably identify as a statist. The dichotomies that I see are as follows:
merit vs. favoritism
liberty vs. tyranny
individuality vs. the mob
personal responsibility vs. collective irresponsibility
your happiness vs. the happiness of 50%+1
free speech vs. censorship
strength vs. weakness
long-term planning vs. short-term wishful thinking
national sovereignty vs. internationalism
prosperity vs. impoverishment
freedom vs. control
property protection vs. plunder
city on a hill vs. Gulag in Siberia
To be sure, in this society, labeling anyone is touchy. At this point I don’t know if I would consider myself a Lockean, a Constitutionalist, a Goldwater conservative, a fiscal and social libertarian but strong on defense dude, or just a lover of my nation. Nevertheless, the split that I see that encompasses the most fundamental of beliefs is individualism versus collectivism. You be the judge as to which ideology is superior.