Are liberals and conservatives going extinct?

Here’s what Perry Willis thinks about Gracearchy episode 19…

They say that if you can remember the 60s you weren’t in the 60s. Well, I was too young to do the drugs that caused that memory loss, so I do remember the 60s, at least from the vantage point of a toddler and pre-teen. I remember…

  • Assassinations (many more than now)
  • Riots (many more than now)
  • Cities burning (many more than now)
  • Massive demonstrations (many more than now)
  • Intense arguments over segregation, school prayer, and the Vietnam war

Later, I learned even more about all the strife. For instance…

I learned about the time Dan Rather was accosted by Chicago thugs working for Major Richard Dailey on the floor of the 1968 Democratic convention.

I also learned about the debate on ABC TV during that same convention between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal. I learned how Vidal called Buckley a crypto-fascist and Buckley threatened to punch Vidal in his face so that he would, in a comical bit of sputtering absurdity, “stay plastered.”

There were no divisions in America then, right? There was no strife or polarization. There was only unity, sweetness, and illuminating dialog, or at the very least decorum, right? Of course not.

It was an era when many Americans hated other Americans for a variety of reasons. It was extremely polarized. And the 70s were even worse in some respects…

Leftist revolutionaries exploded hundreds of bombs all across America!

It’s amazing how many people who are alive now have forgotten that. So, I’m forced to wonder…

Is America really more polarized now?

I’m also aware that everyone claims each election is the most important one in a generation, the rich are always getting richer and the poor are always getting poorer, and my parents always had to walk to school in the snow, uphill in both directions, even though one of them grew up in California and the other in Texas. In other words…

We humans have a penchant for hyperbole, both for spouting it and believing it, and also an aptitude for historical amnesia, always forgetting how bad the past really was in comparison to now.

So, do I really believe we’re more polarized today? Mostly no, I don’t believe that…

Except for one key thing that Jim Babka discusses in the latest episode of Gracearchy.

Gracearchy episode: Authoritarianism, polarization, and illiberalism

There are two kinds of Americans that we had in great abundance in the 60s and 70s that both seem to be going extinct today – the liberal and the conservative. Jim describes examples of this mysterious extinction during his discussion with Bill Protzmann. He also asks a crucial question…

Are the Left and Right moving closer together yet hating each other more while doing that?

What could explain this seemingly contradictory phenomenon, and what can we do about it? How is it possible that people move closer to agreement yet hate each other more? Could it be that what looks like increasing polarization is actually convergence, and that this convergence is headed to a bad place?

Jim Babka and Bill Protzmann chase these questions down, uncovering partisan motives and throught-errors along the way, in the latest episode of Gracearchy. They do this while offering a host of zero aggression and gracearchy-style solutions. Check it out…

Polarizing Convergence,

ZAP The State, and have a nice day, 

Perry Willis
Zero Aggression Project

P.S. Jim Babka will be in Sacramento, Monday, October 24 at an event hosted by Respect America. Jim will be the emcee and moderator for a panel discussion following a screening of the Acton Institute’s documentary, The Hong Konger. It’s the moving story of Jimmy Lai who gives his life and his fortune in the fight against the creeping Chinese Communist Party. Attendance is FREE. Details are here:

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