American Incompatibility

“Alasdair Macintyre is right,” he said. “It’s like a nuclear bomb went off, but in slow motion.” What he meant by this is that our culture has lost the ability to reason together, because too many of us want and believe radically incompatible things.

via After Obergefell, Revisiting Prof. Kingsfield | The American Conservative.

I don’t consider myself to be on the far right of the American political spectrum. If anything, I’m one or two campsites to the right of the American center line.

But I spend my life worrying about exactly what MacIntyre and Rod Dreher are talking about. America is increasingly two countries, and we aren’t spending enough time weaving the connective fabric to hold the two together and draw them closer.

Compromise is a singularly American virtue. It is time we all rediscovered it before it is too late.

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

1 thought on “American Incompatibility”

  1. I think it’s tempting to look at our current era and believe politics is more partisan and more shrill than ever. But I don’t think that history bears out that view. One can with fairly little effort google microfilm copies of old newspapers, and see our forebears ranting and raving that if the “other side” won it would mean the end of goodness, the end of apple pie and mom, the end of everything. For any/all given values of “other side”.

    And yet we struggled through, and persist in believing — against all the evidence! — that the past was a kinder, gentler place where gentleman politicians waged battles of wits and not emotion.

    Poppycock, IMHO.

    And yet…

    There’s a growing understanding that there might be benefits in (to give but one example) not *always* going the “two liars in a room” adversarial legal system route — particularly in highly technical cases where penalties will be administrative, or in highly emotive cases like the abuse of children — and I think there’s also a growing understanding that two-party lifetime-membership daggers-drawn partisanship might not *always* be the answer.

    This, perhaps, is where the false narrative of a golden political past comes from — our hopes and desires and growing belief that there might be some other possibilities. Projecting, in other words, a hardly-yet-articulated hope for the future onto the past.

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