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December 2nd, 2009

I'm starting to see new polarities

It occurred to me today that Dennis Kucinich is what the media early on wanted Mike Huckabee to be: the guy who supports liberal issues yet has a conservative worldview. Pope John-Paul II probably is another example.

I mean it roughly like this. My own belief is that, for the most part, people are naturally ‘good’ and that we should manage society so as to bring out the best in people. This, generally, describes the liberal worldview. In the conservative worldview – closely associated in particular with the Catholic Church – people are ‘bad’ and must be punished and coerced into doing ‘good’. Also what are degrees of ‘good’, in the liberal viewpoint, become sharply dichotomized into ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’, from the conservative perspective. Dennis Kucinich uses such sharply divided language; for instance, a mediocre healthcare plan, which I might describe as ‘getting people insured by means of a giveaway to insurance companies’, Dennis Kucinich calls ‘nothing but a giveaway to insurance companies’. I have mentioned already how strikingly often Kucinich speaks in this way

On the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, Dennis Kucinich’s handling of that was baffling from the liberal perspective – standing an entire afternoon and reading off charge after charge against the criminals, rather than crafting a plan that might actually succeed (as John Conyers perhaps nearly managed); but from the conservative perspective what Kucinich did makes sense. He read off what was an attempt to catalog Bush and Cheney’s ‘sins’ and put them into the record, and he indicted his fellow legislators for their tolerance of ‘sin’. It was like Yom Kippur for Members of Congress.

To me he seems to think a lot about things being too expensive, which to some degree may reflect the conservative reverence of poverty (also closely associated with the Catholic Church), but at least he probably means it more sincerely than either the Republicans or the Vatican. There is value in watching the wallet, of course; it’s good to have some conservatism. It’s a matter of degree.

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