Why Do We Disagree Politically?

Why Do We Disagree Politically?

The nations division of parties and belief.

Conservatives are big on borders, no surprise there. What’s surprising, however, is that the idea reaches farther than merely the physical domain.

Conceptually, conservatives like borders around ideas because new ideas can disrupt a stable system. Looking back at the 20th century, the various revolutions, communist and fascist alike, were catastrophic in the final analysis. Tens, if not hundreds of millions of people died as a result of internal oppression alone – not to mention the countless others who perished during the revolutionary wars themselves. Yet, here in the West we have generated more wealth, lifted more people out of poverty, and allowed for the maximization of human flourishing to a greater degree than ever before. Thus, conceptually, it is reasonable for conservatives to be wary of new ideas. If we hadn’t been, who knows whether or not America would’ve fallen to the same temptations as the Soviets, Nazis, Maoists and other collectivist utopian types of the last century?

Proximally, it is also reasonable for conservatives to be wary of new people. Within a hundred years from the time the first Europeans landed in North America, more than 90% of the native population was killed by disease – smallpox was a novel virus which they had never had exposure to, and thus no immunity for. The Black Death that ravaged Europe in the 14th century is thought to have originated in the dry plains of Central Asia where it then travelled along the Silk Road. From there, it was most likely carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships, spreading throughout the Mediterranean and Europe. The resulting epidemic killed off somewhere between 30-60% of Europe’s total population. Is it any wonder why conservatives care so much about immigration? (Note: I am not saying Mexican immigrants will start the next pandemic, but we need to seriously consider the reasons why people are hesitant of the idea of open borders if we want to have a serious discussion moving forward).

Liberals emphasize openness, conceptually and proximally, for reasons that can also be explained by looking at history. Conceptually, thickening of the borders can lead to instability within a system if new ideas are not taken into consideration. When a current schema fails to account for new information, societies and individuals alike can be caught off guard when disruptions of that current schema occur. New ideas, although sometimes destabilizing, can benefit a system if it becomes too old, firm, and corrupt – culture is dead, something generated and passed down from dead people, and dead things by definition can’t address novelty properly. Thus it can be said that liberals are correct, within a specific context, when they push for the introduction of new ideas that seek to address issues the current system isn’t dealing with properly. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the “Occupy” movement was a response to the perceived insufficiencies of the current economic system – and of course, they had a point. From the outside it appears to me that working class people were disproportionately affected while the perpetrators on Wall Street were bailed out, almost as if they were rewarded for their criminality. Whether or not this was the fault of our capitalist system can be debated, but it is clear, from the perspective of a layman, why this idea garnered attention.

Proximally, liberals advocate for open borders for similar reasons. New people may have something to offer – whether it be in the form of new ideas or new products. When the West ‘discovered’ the East, trade ensued, and people from across the world were suddenly made aware of new products they never would’ve known about otherwise. Trade between people and nations also strengthen relations – as the saying goes, you are less likely to go to war with people whom you trade with. This is why democrats initially pushed for the proliferation of international trade agreements.

As far as I can tell, the fundamental difference between liberal and conservatives types comes down to this: liberals are tilted towards interest in the novel, while conservatives are tilted towards a respect for order. Liberals are more likely to recognize problems with the current system and seek new ways of dealing with them; while conservatives are more likely to recognize the grandeur of tradition and thus shy away from implementing any radical, and potentially destabilizing changes. This is why conservatives lose their minds when they see people burning the flag: they see a lack of respect for the ancestral wisdom we’ve inherited; but liberals have a point as well – when a system has become old, infirm, willfully blind, and corrupt, a show of disapproval (in the form of a flag burning) may be warranted.

Cover Image Credit: Politico

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.


Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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