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Blue constructions and red realities

An obvious lesson of post-election complaints by leftists is that highly-educated and well-connected Blues, including famous commentators on public affairs, simply don’t understand Reds. They haven’t a clue as to how most of their countrymen look at things or why they look at them that way. Hence the fear, loathing and fantasy.

Some explanation of the basic Red frame of mind may be in order. The most important difference relevant to American politics, I think, is that Blues assume the world is made of constructions, while Reds are more likely to think it’s made of realities. That difference means different positions on any number of issues:

  • If the moral world is something we invent then choice is the master principle that trumps all others. If it’s a reality then it takes on the quality of divine law and it seems smart to put more stock in God.
  • If the value of an unborn child is created by those connected to it, then free abortion makes sense. If the child is real, with an integrity and value that don’t depend on what others think or want, right-to-life makes more sense.
  • If marriage is a matter of the desires of individuals and the legislator’s decision it makes sense to adjust the law to facilitate the equal expression of what different people would like to do. It makes no sense to do that if marriage and the family are realities preceding individual desire and the state that every social order likely to be at all tolerable depends on.
  • If human relations are always what we make them, then reinterpretation, dialogue and organizational jiggering can solve all international and social problems. If other people are what they are, and have whatever qualities and goals they have without much regard to us, then there may be necessary or helpful policies (“suppress theft,” “defend your territory,” “look out for family and give to the local food pantry”) but we can’t in general make things the way we want them. “Social justice” and “world peace” become distant aspirations rather than policies.

The basic Blue view, from a Red point of view, is that reality should be reconstructed to fit what they want and Blues have a natural right to the power needed for that end. That’s actually a sensible view if the world is made of constructions that can be reconstructed, and trained people in the big centers are the right people to do the reconstructing. Reds find that view unrealistic, self-aggrandizing and alarming. Blues correspondingly find Reds at best unimaginative and self-satisfied, and at worst downright evil.