Partisans and Objectivists, by the Z-Man.
One way to describe the great divide within mainstream politics is that one side is the partisans and the other side objectivists. The partisans are focused on their objectives and what they think is good for their side. They just want to win and don’t worry too much about how they win. The objectivists are focused on facts and think that truth will prevail eventually. The partisans are what we call the Left and the objectivists are what we call the Right in America.
In other words, the left’s politically correct fantasies versus the right’s realism.
The partisans are an ends justifies the means mode of thought. They are unconstrained by rules or convention. In fact, they are not limited by what they said last week, as last week was a different time with different goals. In a world where winning is the only thing that matters, everything else bends to serve that end. If being seen as on the science is useful in the moment, they love science. If treating science like magic is useful next week, then next week they will mock science.
Objectivists, of course, find this mind boggling. They look at these contradictions as the Achilles’s heel of their opponents. They spend a lot of time pointing out how the partisans are contradicting what they said last week. Often this is effective, as the public tends to side with the objectivists in most things. The climate change stuff is a good example of how the partisans harm their own cause. Their flexibility with the truth is a liability when asking the public to take their word on science.
For the most part, though, this willingness to transcend facts, and even reality in some cases, is a great advantage in a democracy. Politics in a democracy is immediate, rather than deliberative, so that first impression counts for a lot. If in the fullness of time those initial arguments are found to be full of lies or simply wrong, it does not matter as everyone is onto the next thing. It is rare in a democracy for the debate to circle back and address an old argument or have a do-over. …
Of course, this summer we got to experience another example of how the truth is no constraint to the partisan. The people burning, looting and attacking people in the streets have been labeled peaceful protesters. Just this week, as video comes out of massive looting and pillaging in Philadelphia, the governor of the state called it a mostly peaceful protest. That strikes the objectivists as insane, but from the point of view of the partisan, it helps their cause and that’s all that matters. …
Fantasy spinners win in the short term (because they have the media on their side, systematically denying people the truth):
This is why the partisans tend to prevail in a democracy. They have a wider range of options because they are not limited by facts and reason. Additionally, the objectivists are self-limiting, often ceding the field because they think the rules require it. One side gets to play dirty, while the other side tries to talk them out of it. The truth is, there is no reasoning with a partisan. There is no way to reason with someone who will not stipulate to the basic facts of life. They exist beyond reason.
This is the story of the last 30 years. As the partisans have become increasingly partisan, which means less constrained by reality, the objectivists have become more certain that reality will step and do the job they refuse to do. They imagine a time when the partisan suddenly realizes the truth of his situation, throws down his weapons and embraces the objectivist as a brother in logic. For the objectivist, reason has become escapism in order to avoid what must be done.
Yep, that’s the big picture view of the last 30 years. With the media and al the institutions on their side, the left fantasists are winning. For the right, it is not enough to wait for reality to assert itself — they must either fight for a fair say in the exiting media or start their own media.