Research indicates that the term, “Cold War,” was first used in an essay, “You and the Bomb,” written in 1945 by George Orwell, to describe the geopolitical tension, between the United States, the possessor of the Atomic bomb, and Russia, its antagonist and that of the Western Nations. The word, itself, generally refers to a period of hostility and hatred, short of actual physical hostilities.
The architecture of our two-party political system was designed for our Republican form of government because it encourages political society to find positions in common and a National inclination to the moderate middle. It also avoids the undemocratic conundrum, often occurring in governments with proportional representation, where, in order to attain a required legal quorum for governance, a small, unpopular party is necessarily added to rule with the popularly chosen party thus, undemocratically, exercising the interest of an unpopular political philosophy.
American citizens generally classify themselves as adherent to positions along the spectrum of liberal (or progressive) to conservative. Those who are Liberals (or “the left”) generally emphasize personal freedoms, civil rights, economic justice, social and scientific progress, secular thought, collectivism and internationalism. Conservatives (or the right”) generally emphasize small government, anti-regulation individual liberty, authority, and “rugged individualism,” religious thought, and Nationalism.
As observed in earlier writings, the Founders of our Democratic Republic intended that informed citizens of disparate opinions, would, fraternally engage in regular debates, the results of which would inform the government, and thereby attain the ideal of a representative democracy viz., a government by and for the people. As regrettably noted in our earlier mini-essay, “THE DEATH OF CIVIC AMITY,” instead of the Founders’ conception, of an informed and dedicated citizenry, socially discussing the merits of a political proposition, what developed was far less constructive than their idealistic conception.
The Founding Fathers’ forecast of friendly and constructive debates between informed and knowledgeable citizens of divergent views, never did materialize. What did develop, regrettably, was the relationship of rancor between citizens of disparate opinion, which gradually morphed into insular groups of tribal insularity evidencing identical “group think” views, in conflict and animosity with other like groups of disparate view. Issues of abortion, gun control, immigration, civil rights, government assistance to the needy, climate control and the precedence of scientific findings over traditional beliefs, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage, were among the highly flammable kindling igniting a useless and non-constructive conflagration between left and right.
As we have previously observed, the surrender of independent judgment and personal will was apparently exchanged, by many, for the amelioration of a neurotic need for group acceptance, even to the extent of voting against one’s interest and preferences. The vote in such instances, irrefutably, being no longer representative of the will of the individual voter. This construct further metastasized into the one-issue voter; one who votes on the single issue of his, or his group’s concern and ignores the balance of a candidate’s platform (which might include positions contrary to his interest). Such mono-focused issues might possibly include gun rights, Israel, or abortion. The election result results thereby are necessarily skewed (at least regarding the by-passed items on the candidate’s platform) and thus are not, as sought, representative of the will of the Nation’s voters. The emblematic virtue of our Republican Democracy, the citizen’s franchise to vote and thereby attempt to further his interest, is sadly distorted by tribalist “group think” and by the one-issue voters’ limited perspective.
Much irritating “salt in the wound,” was disagreeably administered and rubbed in, by the bizarre election to the Oval Office, of an ignorant and egotistical former second-rate television game show host and career real estate gonif, Donald J, Trump. His unexpected victory was, in large part, brought about by the unprecedently large vote of his identified “base” of voters viz., the inadequately educated, flat earth denizens, vulnerable to his ”snake oil” demagoguery, and was tactically financed by big polluting (sociopathic) industrialists who value profits over human life and health and thus oppose regulations. In past writings, we have recounted Trump’s demonstrated incapability, his ignorance, immorality, bigotry, and serial mendacity and see no especial utility, in once again, specifying the shameful reality of his (dis)service. His shameful rule served to metastasize and catalyze the disease of divisiveness between the tribal (”group think”) insular groups, and their predictably, “loyal” votes.
It may be noted that at no time during his entire four- year term, did the self-involved neurotic, Donald Trump, give evidence to any doctrinaire beliefs or fundamental philosophies. His appeal, for better or worse, appeared to be, in large part, to Americans on the right, many with inadequate education, poorly informed, and anti-reform who oppose the right of abortion, immigration, gun regulation, homosexuality and same-sex marriage, prison and criminal law reform, internationalism and globalism, recognition of existential global warming and environmental issues, government regulations and programs, and are advocates of nationalism and opponents of free trade.
Those on the left who opposed Trump by contrast were generally, better educated, and informed, favored the right of a woman’s right to have an abortion, reasonable immigration, demand gun regulation, are accepting of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, favor prison and criminal law reform, favor globalism and internationalism, militate for the amelioration of global warming and support environmental oversight, favor health and safety regulations and free trade.
The identifiable disparity (by specific issues) between right and left, seemed to have amalgamated into two opposing camps; those on the right apparently elected, as a tribe, to become avid supporters of Donald Trump, while those on the left, for the specified reasons, become staunch Trump opponents. Trump, himself, symbolically, due to his outlandish behavior, (perceived as anti- Washington) became the patriotic banner of the amalgamated right- wing.
So much did Trump become, effectively a patriotic icon, that staunch opponents of his immoral behavior and persona, like the White Evangelicals groups, who preach the inhalation and exhalation of strict, morally proper and religious action, are among his ardent supporters; despite his publicly revealed assignations with prostitutes and acts of bribery to attempt to keep them secret, his mendacity and lack of mainstream morality. In fact, in a previous writing, we classified and described the millions of his supporters as a populous cult not totally dissimilar to those of the loyal followers of Kim Jun Un, Mao Tse Tung, Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. It could be empirically observed that the Nation was, in effect involved in an internal and dangerous at the Cold War; this time, not with a foreign opponent like the USSR, but intramurally and internally. Any doubters of this extreme conclusion might attempt to test it by an amicable attempt to discuss political or social issues with a neighbor or relative, known to be of divergent opinion, or take note of the many strained or broken friendships and relationships between individuals of many of individuals previously in close association.
The existential dangers to our Democratic Republic are many and worrisome. Initially, and perhaps, fundamentally, in our citizen, responsive Nation, views and desires not based upon individual citizen deliberation, but on affiliation are undemocratic and not objectively useful, nor assuredly a valid representation of the will of the greater number of the Nation’s voters. Elected choices or programs, based upon “group think,” or loyalty to any group, is decidedly useless, or harmful, since not based upon the rational consideration and deliberation of possible solutions of specific problems. Existentially needed is creative empirical solutions to issues as they arise, for the proper and successful guidance of the Nation and not neurotically blind loyalty to opinionated groups.
A divided Nation results in a perilous vulnerability to presenting challenges, including epidemics, warfare, natural disasters such as flooding, forest fires, challenges to healthful drinking water and myriad others, as may appear. The current National pandemic, tragically responsible for many thousands of deaths and an untold amount of illness, suffering and the complete disruption of normal societal function, had been wrongfully and irresponsibly, downplayed in importance and consequently exacerbated, by our ignorant, irresponsible, and incapable Chief Executive. Consistent with our premise, his supporters, numbering in the millions, despite the evident danger, like him, have refrained from following the simple but vitally important prophylactic guidelines recommended by Dr, Anthony Fauci, of the National Institute of Health, (in sync with every credible physician Nationally and internationally) regarding mask-wearing and distancing. In a previous essay, we have deservedly bestowed the designation of “cult,” to those who follow Trump, despite his publicly boasted immoral behavior and irresponsibility, at the cost of the endangerment of health and life. Sad experience has shown society that the surrender of individuality and “self” to a cult, has predictable dire results. A great American President, Abraham Lincoln, said, “A House divided cannot stand.”
There is much hope in the defeat of Trump and in the successful election of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris. But all right-thinking American citizens, additionally, have to do everything in their power to resist the continuance of the present “Cold War” by listening patiently to diverse views and replying in a collegial manner, by socializing with members of society with whom we have differences in political or social matters, by expressly condemning bigotry in whatever form it presents itself, in trusting good science and encouraging other so do so, by keeping informed by reading one or more accredited newspapers the and by choosing non-biased radio and television news. Involvement in extra-curricular activities of choice will add self-confidence and individuality, as well as advancement in perspective. We have always been of the view, additionally, that reading good literature and elective involvement in the arts improves perspective and individual confidence.
We have, in many of our writings in the five years of plinyblog’s existence, suggested most of the above routes to a more fulfilled life and the confident acquisition of self-determination. We would, however, repeat our recent suggestion, that candidates, as a pre-requisite for nomination to run for the singular position of the American Presidency, be initially interviewed, by competent and non-biased examiners; as is regularly deemed required in all other, more mundane employment.