One regular visitor to this blog is “The Aussie Conservative” who provides a conservative viewpoint on Australian politics and culture as well as commentary on other parts of the world. This young man describes himself as a “paleoconservative” after apparently flirting with libertarianism. I’m honored to have a young man of his perspective so faithfully follow my blathering-on here. (Here is a link to his blog: https://aussieconservative.blog/)
My interest in politics has deepened as I’ve aged. I think that as I matured in my clinical practice, from which I’ve now retired, I began to appreciate the Carl Jung observation that groups as well as individuals have an unconscious. As I began to watch the Republicans and Democrats intensify their struggles with each other, it became quite apparent to me that the conflict was often, if not most of the time, quite childish. And at present time their battle of wills has crescendoed to the absurd, making many in our country scratched their heads and wonder, “Just how in hell could this happen?” And I think “hell” has a lot to do with it as “hell” is what happens when people are too pig-headedly stuck in the notion that their way of viewing the world is the only way that is “right.” And, if “heaven” does not intervene, all “hell” could break loose.
Jonathan Haidt is a psychologist who has done a lot of research on morality and political issues. His work has greatly influenced his own beliefs as, though he is a liberal, he admits that he has a more balanced perspective on politics as a result of his research. He understands that for a political body to function well the opposing pulls of conservatism and liberalism must cooperate, requiring mutual respect. The following is a link to an article about Haidt’s research.