Ranking priorities and political opinions

I have been pondering the question:   “Why don’t we all have the same political opinions?”

A writer in the past once stated “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  “Soul” or “consciousness” can be substituted for heart.  If I’m on the right track, treasure would be the physical activities and the mental/spiritual thought concepts that we value in life.

Now comes the beginning of my answer to my initial question of why we hold different political opinions.  Some of us treasure equality, liberty, wealth, health, fame, love, material things, sex, sports, traveling, knowledge, wisdom (knowledge that is true); and some treasure the best possible eternal life after death, etc.

But since most of us would confess that most of these are treasured by each of us to some degree; the full answer must be a little more complex.  I believe we differ from one another in our political opinions because we rank all of these treasures in our own lives by unconsciously assigning a different rank and weight to each.

For illustrative purposes, let’s introduce two individuals, Lonnie and Connie.  When Lonnie ranks each of these treasures in his own life, he always puts equality ahead of liberty on his list.  He prefers more equal outcomes for everyone regardless of what they contribute with their talents and efforts toward their fellow human beings.

On the other hand, Connie puts more weight on liberty in the ranking of her treasures.  She believes that people who refuse to fully apply their talents in an environment of liberty, will naturally suffer certain consequences in life that should not be artificially altered by an outside arbiter (say government).  In my illustration, Lonnie is a liberal and Connie is a conservative.

Don’t I believe that liberals and conservatives share any common ground?  Yes, because equality and liberty are only two of the treasures that I listed.

In our present American culture, we don’t behead each other over our differences.  Our common ground is that we are all Americans and we strive to understand why we differ in our opinions without trying to convert our fellow Americans by force to our own way of thinking.  We put our trust in persuasion!

Maybe these so-called undecided independent voters don’t rank mental and spiritual treasures very highly and their life motto may be “let’s get physical” or “just do it.”  Thinking does not compute.

Kenny J. Wolf  (#74)October 22, 2012

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