Dale Franks at Q and O writes that we are coming to a fork in the road, and that we’ve got a 50/50 split between individualists and collectivists.
Frankly, Americans resent authority. We accept some measure of it as a necessary evil most times, but there are limits. We can be pushed, often quite far, but when we reach a certain tipping point, enmity quickly flares. We can have quite heated arguments as equals, then knock off and have a drink. But once we have a heated argument, then are forced to do something we don’t want to do…well, we don’t like it.
That piece of our national character is being tried this month. Over the past couple of days, we’ve seen arguments about national health care erupt into incidents of local violence. Yes, we yelled at each other bit back in 2005 or so, when Social Security reform was on the table. But now we’re seeing thugs in SEIU T-shirts showing up and throwing punches at people who are gathered to demonstrate against the current version of health care reform. We’ve seen a local Democratic Party apparatchik shove a demonstrator in the face. Billy Beck has often said it, and now he’s saying it again: “You have always heard it here first: All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war.”
At this rate, I’m afraid that it’s going to become painfully obvious that a large number of people in this country are not going to politely doff their caps to the local SEIU grandees, once they’ve learned their lessons like good Germans. Quite the reverse, in fact. I’ve also said before–and every time I do, people like Oliver Willis call me crazy for saying it–we’re preparing this country to split apart. There are two
political camps in this country: collectivists, and and indvidualists. (Forget party labels. The parties are, at best, loose approximations of those two camps.) It’s a fairly even split between the two camps. And the fundamental philosophies of those two camps have become irreconcilable, for a number of
reasons, but primarily as a result of centralization of power in Washington.
I agree that we are headed towards a split, and, frankly, I’m encouraged by the general unwillingness to roll over to the state. I disagree, though, that it’s a 50/50 split. I think it is closer to 80/20. The number of people willing to cave to the state is much bigger than he thinks, and I also think much of this is issue driven. Lots of the people against health care reform are all for the massive growth of the TSA, for example.
I hope I’m wrong, though, as I would far rather there be less statists and more Classical Liberals. I think a peaceful split would be a win for everyone. If you want the state to run your life, you can have it. The rest of us can move to Texas.