On American Independence Day, I am going to speculate on our two parties and their wings. Note most of these thoughts are purely my opinions based on what I have observed. I may be wrong, but hear me out. The Republican Party has its right wing, the far right, and the Democratic Party has its left wing, the far left. I believe those two wings drive much of the politics today and the change in politics today. I believe much of the division in our country comes from the two wings affecting the politics of each party. The Republicans seem to be more conservative than before and the Democrats seem to be more liberal or progressive than before. As I write this, voting for the Colorado primaries has just happened, and during the run up to the primaries, I saw Republicans touting who was more conservative, and at the same time Democrats touting who was more progressive. According to politics today, it is good to be a more strident conservative or a more progressive liberal. And I believe this drift to the extremes is dividing the country.
There are two interesting surveys that have taken the political pulse of America. The Pew Research Center’s Political Topology Poll and “The Hidden Tribes of America” Poll. The Pew poll divides up America into 9 groups and the Tribes poll divides America into 7 groups. Looking at the wings, the Pew poll has Progressive Left with 6% of Americans, and the Faith and Flag Conservatives at 10%. The wings for the Tribes poll are the Progressive Activists with 8% of Americans and Devoted Conservatives at 6%. You can see some variation in the numbers depending on the survey, but the point is the percentages are small and yet I believe they have a large influence on where the country is headed (depending on who is in office).
And from a past post, you know that I am an Independent. Neither party shares the values I have well enough for me to set my party affiliation. As an Independent, I want valid information on the candidates. I want to see TV ads where the candidate shares what they stand for. Instead I see TV ads and mailings sharing how extreme their opponents are, and sadly most of the time the TV ads and mailings are sharing at best half truths. I have voted against candidates because of continuous single issue attacks against their opponents. I wonder if candidates are afraid to share the truth, because of these political wings. They are forced to take extreme positions in the primaries and then forced to be more moderate in their positions for the general election. So where do they really stand? Many times, it is hard to tell, because they want to appeal to the general public and at the same time keep the political wing of their party happy. That is what I think is happening.
Today it seems that the parties are only concerned with appealing to their members, especially to the political wings. They want to get their members out to vote and not the other party members. Their goal seems to be getting their candidates elected or reelected at all costs. In Colorado, before the primaries, Democrats spent millions of dollars on TV ads saying this Republican primary candidate was “Too Conservative for Colorado”. Until now, I had never seen the opposing party interfering in the other party’s primary. Political commentators agreed that the Democratic Party was thinking that Republicans would vote for the more conservative candidate and thus make it easier for Democratic candidates to win. The funny thing is those more conservative candidates were also given the first spot on the primary ballot set by the Colorado Republican convention. With primary results now in, it appears that the TV ads worked better than expected. Those more conservative candidates did not win the primary. If the political commentators were right, it backfired for the Democratic Party. I think what happened is that in Colorado the independents had a chance to vote in one or the other party’s primaries and since there were few contests in the Democratic Primary more independents voted in the Republican Primary. This meant the more conservative candidates did not win, even though both parties wanted them to win. I also think that the right wing of the Republican party dominated the convention and put out candidates that were more conservative than the average rank and file Republican in Colorado. That also made a difference in the results. Note I think those TV ads were pure politics of the worst kind. Let the candidates win on their merits.
Why do these political wings have such a large influence? I think there are several reasons. One reason is that these wings appeal to the sense that one needs to have a consistent stand for the values of the party and to take those values to the next level. Another reason is a sense of loyalty to those in the party which causes a positive spin to be put on those who extend the values into something that is not so positive. You support those in the party even if you disagree. And a third reason is the effect of social media. Social media plays a role because social media will put out in front the extreme statements and downplay the more reasonable and factual statements because they will allow more ads to be viewed. This means you see the extreme viewpoints and not as much the more reasonable statements. So you may start wondering if the extreme is true since it seems like everyone on social media is saying that. And you never hear the other side because social media has decided which group you belong to inorder to keep you engaged and seeing ads. I believe these things have divided the country.
Consider how you have been influenced by the right and left wings of America’s parties. One check is to ask, do you see the radical left wing as including most all Democrats, or the radical right wing as including most all Republicans? If so, you have been influenced by the Republican right wing or the Democratic left wing. By my figuring the left and right wings of American politics are not that large and should not have as large of an influence as the wings do have. Do not give the wings undue influence. We are not enemies of each other. We are all Americans that need to work together to help make a better America for all. We can do it. Let us try to avoid being divisive.
Let me give an example. Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in America. In Colorado, you can get an abortion at any point in a pregnancy. Over the years, several attempts to limit abortion have failed. Perhaps those who are pro-life could work with those who are pro-choice at making abortion rare. (The national platform for Democratic Party until recently was that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare”. Unfortunately the party has dropped the rare part. I believe this was due to the influence of that left wing of the party.) I believe one way to help make abortion rare is to deal with the poverty of those seeking abortions. Three quarters of the women getting an abortion are poor. Financial concerns must be a major factor in abortions, so dealing with their poverty and creating financial security for them could help reduce abortions. This example is one of many ways where we can work together to make a better America for all.
4 thoughts on “The Wings of Politics”
There’s a LOT to comment on here, but my time and ‘bandwidth’ are short right now.
I most definitely believe that the reason the two major parties are so partisan now is not because of the tiny 6% and 8% radical wings of the parties, but simply because the entire parties are farther apart ideologically now than they’ve been for over a hundred and fifty years — probably since the Civil War. Look at the basic platform tenets of the parties. On almost every major issue the parties are at polar opposites, and on some issues there can be no compromise. To use the abortion example you used, either it’s murder or it’s not. If it ends the life of an unborn human being, it’s murder … and is only justifiable in rare cases where a pregnant woman’s life is in danger. Making abortion merely rare — but freely obtainable for any reason whatsoever — is still murder. Where is that unborn child’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as our Declaration of Independence had acknowledged as basic human rights? If a little infant’s life is taken away, all his or her rights are taken away. Late term abortions are all the more egregious, and are unbelievably barbaric. As I wrote to a politician friend not long ago:
“I think I need the Lord to help me deal constructively with the indignation and anger that has been building in me for years regarding the growing corruption and moral bankruptcy of this nation. Although I could clearly see where things were going with Obama’s first election in 2008, and dreaded it, my anger really started with his flooding the White House with rainbow colors, which in today’s context was sacrilege and made me want to vomit. The indignation intensified over the years while listening to constantly left-wing-biased news media, seeing so-called gay ‘pride’ parades, a gay governor and ‘First Man’ supposedly elected to office in Denver, our public libraries being used for drag queen story hours for kids, and then in 2019 finding out about the unbelievable, and in certain cases unspeakable homosexual sex-ed. FILTH coming out of the liberal left that would now be pumped into public school children even in early grade school. And then there’s other godless, blinded, Satanic-pawn liberals who barbarically extended the modern-day atrocity of abortion all the way up to day of natural birth … and if a baby survives an abortion attempt, they proposed to just let it die in isolation, much like the ancient pagan Romans would leave unwanted infants on hilltops to die of exposure, thirst, sorrow, and maulings by wild animals. I find all of this simply unbelievable, almost to the point of being unspeakable. How can we have regressed to this incredibly low level of godless barbarism in this supposedly enlightened age we live in today? How is this still possible?? And to ensure the Godly never win any more elections, they seek to codify and make permanent nationwide everything that made our last election so vulnerable to corruption … and so corrupted.”
Last week I wrote to another friend the following, which I think sums up much of the ideological divide in Washington and this entire country:
“I’m planning to write NPR about their ongoing promotion of the gay agenda and their legitimizing and ennobling lifestyles that are immoral, offensive, and notoriously unhealthy. And there are other letters that have been building steam in me for quite some time that I want to send CO US Rep. Joe Negoose and CO US Senators Hickenlooper and Bennett. They or their offices did respond to my phone calls with letters back to me last time, which was a couple years ago now — although I have to say that in the end it was like talking to a wall with all of them, which is consistent with the deep partisan divide in Washington. When I sent them replies or rebuttals, there was no response then.
Some of the new topics I want to talk about will be:
* state abortion laws (including Colorado’s, which has recently been amplified to be among the most grievous in the nation),
* election security and integrity (and the current lack thereof), and requiring voter IDs universally, eliminating electronic voting and going back to paper ballots only because computers are way too easy to hack, and minimizing and monitoring all ballot drop boxes nationally from now on,
* removing universally and permanently all LGBTQ indoctrination and CRT / BLM neo-marxism and revisionist history from all public school curricula,
* ensuring school choice nationwide and the federal funding of parochial school tuitions if parents opt to send their children to religious schools (like Maine has just been ordered to do),
* making financial ESG scores illegal because of their inherent political discrimination,
* staying clear of digital currency, which would be easily and hugely corruptible (in biblical End Times proportions),
* either eliminating any Biden Administration Disinformation Czar (i.e. George Orwell-style “Ministry of Truth”) position, or at least making sure his wings are kept tightly trimmed for the sake of the First Amendment freedom of speech,
* making social media’s widespread political censorship illegal,
* creating a federal balanced budget amendment because we’re spending ourselves into bankruptcy in the long run,
* striking down the 2015 US Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and overruling 37 righteous state laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman (this could be done by actually enforcing the federal DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] from 1992),
* NOT packing the Supreme Court (as recently prescribed by ultra-left-wing radical Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after the fall of Roe v. Wade). Court packing was a mistake FDR had already made in 1937, so why repeat the same mistakes of the past? It had, in effect, turned the court into a purely political branch of government, and could have led to even further court packing the next time that the opposite party gained control in Congress and wanted to force their agendas through,
* NOT doing away with the Electoral College, which in ways very similar to the Senate, helps keep large urban states from always overwhelming the votes of the smaller states population-wise,
* NOT doing away with the filibuster, which currently requires at least a 60% majority to overcome to pass new bills in the Senate, and acts as a curb on wild swings of legislation every time the opposite party regains control.
* fully enforcing the federal prohibition of pot and overruling all state laws legalizing its use recreationally, and
* restarting oil and gas permitting and pipeline projects at the same time as we’re already spending billions on green energy infrastructure and electric car recharging stations across the nation, in order that we can ease the transition to cleaner vehicles without wrecking the economy in the process,
* invest in the necessary new military technology for better anti-missile missiles, faster hypersonic missiles, stronger and more prevalent laser defense systems, and space-based orbital defenses to protect our satellites and take out enemy satellites if necessary. We need to fully fund the new US Space Force because if we don’t, Russia and China will not hesitate for one instant to take advantage of our complacency and eventually hold us hostage as they overwhelm our aging defense systems. They’ve already surpassed us in several areas, and that, combined with a weak administration in Washington, is inducing them to invade or consider invading surrounding territories, and even try intimidating and taunting our military forces on patrol, such as in the South China Sea. Ukraine is already experiencing Russia’s aggression (and Putin’s swagger), and Taiwan is clearly on China’s radar as their next target.
I’m sure all of these will be non-starter, losing issues with today’s farther-left-than-ever, willfully-blind, naive liberal Democrats who don’t know God, don’t have any absolute moral principles, incorporate gross contradictions and hypocrisies into their worldviews, have a strong tendency to buy votes (or get them by aiding and abetting illegal immigration), hate this nation’s founders and dislike or hate many of its founding principles, crave power and view the democratic process as an impediment to their steamrolling and iron-fisting their agendas through, and who do not view the Constitution as solid (any more than they view any Biblical principles as solid or authoritative) and therefore do not interpret anything in our Constitution by its original intent. But in Colorado, those are just about the only politicians we have to work with these days. And I cannot just be passively silent. Those days are long gone.”
So with liberals and their many misguided objectives, major mistakes, and horribly bad policies filling children’s minds with revisionist ‘woke’ history and sex ed. filth; and their disgusting ‘pride’ parades and festivals celebrating the same kind of debauchery that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for; and their panic-driven energy policy that’s sky-rocketing our national debt burden, ruining the economy, and more than doubling the price of gas; and their damaging our credibility overseas (including abandoning the Afghanis and handing $80 billion of US military equipment over to the Taliban); and their alienating huge numbers of business people, Christians, parents, and taxpayers in general; and now their current desperate attempts to claw and scratch abortion back into availability at any stage of pregnancy in all 50 states regardless of any existing state laws protecting life, where do we Christians go from here?
Today’s cultural / spiritual war with all its acrimony and offense can make it VERY challenging to always speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), and give a gentle answer that can turn away wrath and not stir up more anger (Prov. 15:1), when inwardly what you really yearn for is for someone somewhere in some high public office to deliver a scorching, blistering, devastating rebuke of all of this, and show people the gruesome, gory details of what they’re defending, promoting, teaching, and taking ‘pride’ in, and rub their noses in it, and send half these promoters off to prison, punch the daylights out of others, and for remainder, bang all their heads together several times … hard … and sentence them to 10 years of community service each. But then, how much ground would all of that reclaim for God’s Kingdom? How many souls would we wrest out of Satan’s hands that way? That right there is the added complication we have to deal with, being God’s ambassador’s here in this world. We have a dual battle to fight – a worldly one and a spiritual one. That scenario would be totally unfair, and would leave us hopelessly outnumbered and outflanked were it not for God and his angels also doing battle on our behalf.
Nonetheless, we cannot just be passive spectators (who occasionally pray), as most Christians tend to be. We need to start getting more active and more vocal, and that includes pastors.
But it starts with prayer. Pray for this nation, and especially for the news media, teachers, schools and universities, and politicians – even those on the opposite side of the aisle who are in office right now, whether they’re legitimately in office or not. Pray they’re granted extra measures of wisdom, patience, understanding, and forbearance, and that they’re convicted about anything they do or say that’s factually or morally wrong, and pray that they be filled with a desire to seek and speak the truth. Pray for the integrity of our election process too, regardless of claims made one way or the other. If we’ve lost our election process to corruption, then we’ve essentially lost our democratic republic. Pray for a moral and spiritual revival in this nation, which is desperately needed. And pray for insight and guidance in how you yourself can be salt and light in this world. Ask God to show you what he has in mind for you to do, say, and write.
Thanks, Jeff for your thoughts. I agree with you on several things and disagree with some other things. How to be salt and light in today’s world is the question. Yes, the first thing to do is pray. How can we engage those opposed to Christian values in a wholesome way that brings people to know Jesus? We need to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:14-16). That may not be easy. We may suffer for righteousness sake. Expect it. But we need to be careful so we do not suffer for being a loud mouth jerk.
Agreed. Loud-mouthed jerks only build walls higher. We’ve seen that in many public confrontations. The keys are to maintain one’s calm and composure, and don’t let the temperature of the conversations elevate — because as soon as that happens, people stop seriously considering what you’re saying and are no longer listening to you as their rational thinking shuts down and their emotions take over completely.
Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people.” But Jesus also sent us out to speak Truth into the world, and many will hate us for it, just as many hated him.