Archives For conservatism


Around the same time, a New York University psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, was formulating a theory about why liberals and conservatives have such a hard time productively conversing.

After mucking around in a lot of survey data, he came up with this basic idea: Liberals and people of the left underpin their politics with moral concerns about harm and fairness; they are driven by the imperative to help the vulnerable and see justice done. Conservatives and people of the right value these things as well but have several additional moral touchstones — loyalty, respect and sanctity. They value in-group solidarity, deference to authority, and the protection of purity in mind and body. To liberals, those sincerely held values can look a lot like, in Dr. Haidt’s words, “xenophobia, authoritarianism and Puritanism.” This asymmetry is the fountainhead of mutual incomprehension and disdain.

A pretty fair and balanced take on affirmative action.

We should insist on procedural justice — which is to say, we should insist on the rule of law and on the equality of all people before it. But we ought not allow that insistence to be a bunker into which we retreat when we do not wish to think too hard about the real social and economic distance between black Americans and white Americans. The fact that we passed a new set of rules in 1964 is not in itself an accounting for what came before or an answer to what has happened since.

You can make of the recent transformation of the United State’s morality what you may, however I can only deduce that it doesn’t bode well for the future. I did find the low approval of extramarital affairs to be interesting as I thought it would be higher. The fact that these acts are rapidly becoming morally permissible in the minds of the people  is pretty incredible and even more incredible are that these changes are occurring in less than two decades. Perhaps at the very least people can now visibly recognize that there is not a clear consensus on several contentious moral issues.