Saturday, July 17, 2010

Other options

Fareed Zakaria:

But the truth is, since the Cold War ended, most people haven’t voted based on deep ideological divides. The majority gravitate toward the center and search for a party or person who seems to reflect their sensibilities, attitudes, and feelings. They want a modern party that feels as though it understands the world we live in.

Two things come to mind. First is Virginia Postrel's thesis that the real competition following the demise of Cold War ideological divides was between Stasists and Dynamists. And second that neither of the two ideologies that dominate left and right really "understands the world we live in." The metaphor of "the center" is not very useful since it does not describe what people believe or want. It assumes the legitimacy of the existing left and right ideologies and does not recognize that the huge numbers of people in "the center" are in fact rejecting those ideologies and want something else. They are not splitting the difference, they want other options. So let's see this as an opportunity and come up with "other options."

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