Andrew Bolt has quite a neat list of what divides left and right, socialists and conservatives, progressives and small-l liberals, or however you might like to name and frame the differences between the two sides of politics. This is in answer to the ABC’s Jonathan Green who thinks that he, like the rest of the ABC, represents the middle ground. This is the list to which no doubt others might be added.
– restrictions on free speech
– the retribalising of our nation
– changing the constitution to effectively divide us by race
– our high levels of immigration
– massive overspending on entitlements and welfare schemes
– workplace restriction which employers say cost jobs and investment
– government handouts to prop up companies from Qantas to car-makers, involving billions of dollars and thousands of jobs
– preventing illegal immigration, which under Labor was reaching levels approaching 40,000 people a year
– the global warming faith and its carbon tax, responsible in part for the loss of thousands of Australian jobs
– the Renewable Energy Target, who helps make electricity a luxury for the poor without doing anything for the environment
– the green bans on nuclear power and on dams to water our growing cities.
– appeasing or defying rising Third World or developing powers such as China
– surrendering elements of our self-government to multinational fora such as the United Nations
– limiting the reach and bias of our massive state media
– green restrictions on the use of our natural resources, costing possibly tens of thousands of jobs
– how to fight Islamist extremism, already responsible for the loss of hundreds of Australian lives
For more on these issues, there is an interesting article, naturally written by someone on the left, that deals with Are left and right a feature (or bug) of evolution?. It’s a review of two books that look at politics and evolution. You should read it all, but this I thought was precious:
Liberals and conservatives, conclude Hibbing et al., “experience and process different worlds.” No wonder, then, that they often cannot agree. These experiments suggest that conservatives actually do live in a world that is more scary and threatening, at least as they perceive it. Trying to argue them out of it is pointless and naive. It’s like trying to argue them out of their skin.
I, of course, see this in exactly the reverse way. It is the Candides of the left who see no danger and create havoc through their ignorance and blindness to actual problems they ignore. Every one of the issues raised on Andrew’s list is a minefield for which so far as I can see there is not a single realistic solution being offered by the left.