If you will get out a pencil and a piece of paper, we can make up a simple political scorecard that will allow us to make more sense out of the editorial pages, radio editorials, the television news and programs and the weekly news and opinion magazines.
Start by making a big "X" on your paper, with each line at least eight inches long. In the left triangle on your paper, write the word, "Libertarian"; the words "Authoritarian Populist" in the right triangle; the word "Liberal" in the upper triangle; the word "Conservative" in the lower triangle; and the word "Moderate" where the two lines cross in the middle.
Now, at the ends of each of the two lines forming the "X" write in a number to show the percent of government or state control. Put a 100 at each end on the right side and a zero at each end on the left side of the "X".
Now, we will see what each political player shares in common with his neighbors, by labeling the lines between each one. Along the Libertarian's side of the line, between him and the Conservative, write "Economic Freedom or Liberty". Along the Conservative's side of this line, write "Allow Free Natural Consequences or Justice".
Along the Libertarian's side, between him and the Liberal, write "Social Freedom or Freedom", and along the Liberal's side of this line, write "Allow Free Behavior Actions or Freedom".
Along the Populist's side of the line between him and the Conservative, write "Idealism or Social Control". Along the Conservative's side of this line, write "Morality or Restrain Behavior Actions".
On the last line, between the Populist and the Liberal, along the Populist's side write "Equality or Economic Control", and along the Liberal's side of this line, write "Equality or Alter Natural Consequences".
Now, in observing our scorecard, we can see that the Moderate is happy to be somewhere in the middle on the Freedom and Morality directional line, and happy to be somewhere in the middle on the Liberty vs. Equality directional line. In fact, the Moderate is just happy to be somewhere.
We can now individually start filling in the triangles with words, expressions, organizations, etc., as we read what others say, watch and listen to the news, and have conversations with others.
For Example, the Liberal's ideal form of limited government is a "Majoritarian Democracy", while the Conservative's ideal form of limited government is a "Constitutional Republic".
The Moderate is happy with a mixture of these two forms of limited government. If Populism or increased governmental control of actions and consequences is carried too far, it results in "Totalitarian Socialism", as in the Soviet Union and Red China.
If Libertarianism or freedom from governmental control is carried too far, it results in "Anarchy". Although a true anarchist would tell us this would give us order rather than chaos in society.
We can also see by our scorecard that Liberals and Conservatives are somewhere between Anarchists and Socialists with limited government, while the Moderates are happy to fall somewhere between Liberals and Conservatives, who differ on the social and economic purposes of government.
If we were all to draw at least one agreeable objective conclusion by looking at our model of the political spectrum it would seem to be this: the Moderate seems to be happy standing in the middle of everyone else on the desirable size and purpose of government. But even those of us who consider ourselves in one of the four political areas will occasionally cross over on some particular social or economic issues.
After all … that's politics.
--Kenneth J. Wolf #04 (07/22/89)
Return to Captured Thoughts