Only the Polarized Are Actually Polarized?

Only the Polarized Are Actually Polarized?

Gun link symbol locked with metal chainsYou know an election's not coming out the way they want when the New York Times is talking about polarization. In a recent op-ed, two social psychology professors argue that people who have strong political views assume that people at the opposite end of the political spectrum have similarly strong views, and in fact view the electorate as a whole as being more polarized than it actually is.

The implication, of course, is that if those in the middle just exerted themselves more, politics would be much more genteel and representative of the people as a whole rather than the wild men at either extreme.

Well, count me as one of those who think the only things in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead skunks.

History is always made by decisive men or groups who seize an opportunity to move the zeitgeist in a new direction. This was common thinking in the 19th century with Thomas Carlyle, Georg Hegel and Soren Kirkegaard as prominent exponents. Vladimir Lenin saw the Bolsheviks as the "vanguard of the proletariat," who would move an otherwise bovine working class in the direction of revolution.


This sort of heroic thinking is much out of fashion now, in a time when sundry academic drones have reduced history and the future, too, to the dead hand of class, race and sex.


Not every public question, and certainly no important one, can be averaged between the two extremes. The case of gun rights is a perfect example.

We are not willing to meet the anti-gunners halfway. An outcome where we lose half our rights and they agree not to take the other half, for the moment at least, is not an outcome we intend to accept.

Sometimes, as Gen. Douglas MacArthur put it, there is no substitute for victory. The only outcome acceptable to us is one in which the antis are defeated. They close down their offices, they stop issuing press releases, they quit proposing legislation and go save the snail darter. Anything short of that is no resolution.

Similarly, our enemies will not be satisfied so long as we have so much as a slingshot. They will only have won when the last single-shot .22 is rooted out of the remotest barn in Montana and melted into a peace sculpture.


Polarized? Yes.

Polarization is what you get when people actually believe in something, and when the stakes really matter. It is often stated, usually by those who idealize Scandinavian social democracy, that people in Denmark are the happiest on earth. Well, why not? What are the stakes if you're in Denmark? What can actually happen? That cheese prices collapse?

This is America, and the stakes are huge. People take sides and struggle vigorously, occasionally violently, to put their programs into effect. That's what democracy looks like when there's really something on the line. Polarization is what you get when people actually care.


The New York Times may prefer the muddled middle, but I like my politics with a little jalapeno sauce, if you please.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-Lok® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New for 2019 is the Max Long Range model featuring a composite Max stock with fully adjustable comb, spacers for adjusting length of pull, stainless fluted heavy sporter barrel, threaded muzzle brake and extended bolt handle.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

Trending Articles

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27. 2nd Amendment

Tell the White House that the 2nd Amendment Was Not Given to the People by Government

Firearms News - July 02, 2019

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27.

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News. 2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

In response to the wave of proposed anti-gun legislation in Virginia, many of its cities and counties have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries. 2nd Amendment

Tazewell County Forms Militia in Response to New Virginia Gun Laws

Jim Grant - December 06, 2019

In response to the wave of proposed anti-gun legislation in Virginia, many of its cities and...

NV Sheriff: “I might not like the law, but I'll still confiscate your guns.” 2nd Amendment

Nevada Sheriff to Enforce Red Flag Laws

Jim Grant - December 23, 2019

NV Sheriff: “I might not like the law, but I'll still confiscate your guns.”

As for embracing this latest scheme by our “Guardians” to somehow protect us through infringements, there's really only one principled response: “Enforce existing gun laws?” The hell with that. Repeal the damn things. 2nd Amendment

Who Will Guard Against ‘Guardians' When Trump Admin Enforces More Gun Laws?

David Codrea - December 02, 2019

As for embracing this latest scheme by our “Guardians” to somehow protect us through...

The U.S. lodging company pledged $300,000 to Canadian Doctors for Protection From Guns, which lobbies the government to ban guns from the country's 2.2 million adults with a federal firearm licence. 2nd Amendment

Airbnb Financing Group Campaigning Against Canadian Gun Owners

TheGunBlog.ca - February 19, 2020

The U.S. lodging company pledged $300,000 to Canadian Doctors for Protection From Guns, which...

See More 2nd Amendment

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.