Sunday, September 21, 2008

Republican v. Democrat: What's the Core Difference?

Calandria and I have been emailing about politics this weekend, and it's got me thinking ... the 3-hour drive home from the North Shore gave me a lot of time to reflect. When I got home, I went looking for summaries of the core difference(s) between the Republican and Democrat parties, and mostly I found a lot of vitriolic prose ... but I did find this passage, and I am curious what you all think of it:

If you are speaking about the relatively invariant difference between "right wing" and "left wing" politics, then I think looking at the political emphases in terms of traditional Father/Mother gender roles is illuminating.

In the traditional nuclear family, Father is tasked with earning money (making the economy grow), protecting the household (national defense), punishing the misbehaving children (criminal justice) and ensuring that spending is kept within budget (tax/fiscal policy).

Meanwhile, the mother is charged with taking care of the kids (social welfare), making sure they get to school (education policy), making sure they have food and clothing (infrastructure spending), seeing that none of them are treated unfairly (civil rights) and encouraging them to explore their interests (arts and cultural spending).

People who are "right wing" in their political philosophy tend to emphasize the Father role of government while left-leaning people tend to emphasize the Mother role for government.

Naturally, other factors (rise of corporate power, religious 'values' voters, dominance of incumbents, etc.) can make the Father/Mother model less clear, but I think overall the analysis is a valid model.

1 comment:

Calandria said...

That is certainly an interesting analogy. I'll have to think more about it.

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