“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
(Charles Dickens: A tale of Two Cities)
Look at the two maps above. They are of the same, the 2016 US presidential election. The first one shows the result of the votes by county, the second shows the electoral votes if only the votes of 18 to 25 years old were counted. If you want to understand the divisions better, there are several sites with maps and graphs explaining the results. (Business Insider and SurveyMonkey)
We live in a time of divisions so pronounced that it would be hard to find another like it. Some of us try desperately to understand the reasons behind it.
You can play around with this interactive map to see how the outcome would have differed based on various demographic scenarios. Here are just some of the most striking outcomes:
The results if:
|…only millennials voted||496||39|
|…only the (over)educated (college +) voted||400||138|
|…only seniors voted||187||339|
|…only married men voted||31||507|
|…only unmarried women voted||514||18|
|…only veteran households voted||21||514|
|…only whites voted||139||399|
|…only non-whites voted||494||16|
|…only gun-owning households voted||3||532|
But what does it all mean?
- It means that politics is not about ideology, but pure, naked self interest.
- It means that producers want the freedom to produce and keep some more of the fruits of their labor, while the clients of the redistributive state want to keep benefiting from the system.
- It means that the more education you get, the further divorced from reality you will become.
- It means that racial division, identity politics and the nurturing of a victim culture works.
- It means that marriage is probably the most important social institution for both parties. The nurturing of the institution helps republicans, while its destruction benefits the democrats. (We should stop pretending that democrats don’t know that the results of their policies are NOT unintended and unforeseeable side effects.)
- It means that the aggressive drive of the left for ever increasing urbanization is a political project.
The map displaying the electoral college votes by county shows an important trend that we can observe in other elections as well: the more urbanized the electorate, the more left leaning it is. We can only speculate why. Could it be that mowing our lawn and cleaning the snow from our driveways can create a propensity for self reliance in us? Does living outside the metropolis puts us close enough to nature to influence our political leaning? That being closer to reality makes us conservative? The best overall predictor of the result is where we live and the best explanation is that being closer to nature brings us closer to reality which is always conservative.
Consider this map, and compare it with the first one above:
The overlap is quite fascinating. It is difficult not to notice that population density strongly correlates with leftward political leaning. You will find the same pattern in Canadian election maps. In Toronto, the city centre of liberal red and socialist orange is surrounded by conservative blue suburbs.
I do not have maps of European elections which tend to be a little more complicated anyway, but we know that the Brexit vote had the same pattern, it was the rural vote that won the referendum. (see the TED talk link below).
The left’s explanation is always some variant of describing conservatives as primitive, unintelligent, unsophisticated, violent, racist, fascist, selfish and uncaring brutes. The only evidence the left needs to establish that is knowing how we vote.
It is understandable that they are in such distress. Their world fell apart in an upset that could be comparable for them to Neanderthals winning over Homo Sapiens.
Alexander Betts makes a passionate case in a TED talk for the (re)’education’ of those unenlightened conservatives. The communist understood perfectly the power of indoctrination, hence Lenin’s famous edict: “To learn, to learn to learn” Indoctrination has always been a central role of public education.
When we talk about politics in public, when the media discusses it, most of the talk is about emotions, promises, blame, projections of intent, sometimes about strategies and policies but hardly ever about the overall goals:
- the atomization of society through the destruction of the family
(married people are more conservative)
- the creation of strife and division through identity politics
(identity groups vote left)
- the forced urbanization through zoning laws such as the green belt around Toronto
(urban voting districts are more likely to vote for the left)
…and the same is true for any issue on the leftist agenda. Education, multiculturalism, immigration and environmental policies are all designed to create an environment that is pushing people toward giving more power to the left. The correlations above are so strong that it is difficult to imagine that they are not conscious parts of the design. It is difficult to imagine that the policies are pushed for ideological reasons ONLY with no regard for the obvious political benefits.
The politics of the left is self serving, but so is that of the right. We all believe that the world would be a better place if it went in our preferred direction. There is no shame in admitting it. What is shameful is trying to hide the agenda as the left does. Political self interest should be discussed openly. It won’t help to reconcile the differences, but it will help mapping the fault-lines of the divide.
……. this is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness…………