What if the magnitude of God’s truth is so vast and the human mind so small that each of us can only see a minuscule piece of the picture? What if God in his infinite wisdom spread political viewpoints across a normal distribution of liberals, moderates, and conservatives?

Political dreamin’

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I’m fascinated by the equal number of men and women in any society (except China, where they’ve fiddled with things). It’s an amazing genetic system. Some families will have six girls, some four boys, and still others are single like me, completely throwing off the curve. Yet over a population, the math always works out. 

What if political viewpoint functions the same way? What if the magnitude of God’s truth is so vast and the human mind so small that each of us can only see a minuscule piece of the picture? What if God in his infinite wisdom spread political viewpoints across a normal distribution of liberals, moderates, and conservatives? When we put the fragments of our diverse views together, we come closer to the mind of God. What if, just like men and women need each other to make a family, liberals and conservatives are both vital to chart the proper course for our awesome country? What if the world has never seen the beauty and fortune of a civilization that learns to listen to the other side rather than fight? 

Don’t pinch me; I don’t want to wake until the election is over.

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  1. balance…

  2. I see a number of problems with this argument.

    1. “Liberals” and “conservatives” are neither a fluid category, nor necessarily actually falling on two opposite sides of a spectrum. Actually, in practice, democrats and republicans are both classical liberals following Keynesian economic practices (typical Republicans just want more spending on military than typical Democrats). Where they differ most is in social issues, and those social platforms are very fluid and changeable year to year based on what they think will get their candidates the most votes.

    2. Gender distribution is (I assume) following a practical and long-term evolutionary solution for the most efficient and effective system of reproduction because people don’t spontaneously change gender. There are only two genders because more genders would be a waste of resources at the biological level. There are lots and lots and lots of political ideologies out there. It can’t really be mapped on a continuum like gender distribution can. Not only can individuals vary in their ideals, but so can whole cities, states, and nations.

    Given that, I think it’s a bit of a logical leap to say that a mixture of two of these ideologies (both quite mutable and in many ways, arbitrary) is required to make the “family” of America. In many ways, it’s quite clear we would be measurably better off without partisan lockup such has been the norm in recent years. Minorities, women and workers would also be measurably better off without one party’s power in particular.

    3. Liberals and conservatives aren’t equally spread throughout the population, nor they participate equally in government. Conservatives make up *about* 25% of the population, but they vote quite reliably. Liberals and moderates make up a much larger proportion, but for various reasons, don’t vote. If liberals in America voted with as much enthusiasm, very, very few Republicans would still be in office.

    4. I have a problem with any group saying that God is on their side. That said, it’s becoming clear to many that “conservative” ideology has been hurtful, in particular, to women, who are seeing their rights eroded. On the flip side, that same ideology has benefited the rich like never before by what is considered by many to be a cash grab from America’s working class through the de-regulation and gift tax breaks for hedge funds and leveraged buyout specialists. If God *did* have to pick a side (and thank God that probably isn’t necessary!) I’m not entirely sure God’s vote would go where some most expect.

    I know that I am someone who votes as best I can to alleviate the suffering of others and provide equal opportunity for all, not just a few. I don’t think it would benefit my vote, or my idea of “truth” to somehow blend my ideals of welfare for the poor and equality for gays and minorities to listen to someone discuss “legitimate rape”, tax breaks for the already-mega rich, and doing everything within means to limit the rights of non-white, non-male, and/or non-straight people. Trying to reconcile, or mediate between these two perspectives won’t leave me, or anyone else, anything but confused.

    PS I can think of not a few mixed and “non-traditional” families who would be offended at your suggestion that a mother and father are required to have a family. I doubt you meant it to be offensive, but just wanted to point that out. 🙂

  3. Good points Sam! I appreciate your engaging with me on this argument:

    1) Liberals and conservatives may not necessarily line up with democrat and republican. Although I haven’t done any kind of scientific study, it seems like every society (that is allowed to voice their viewpoint) has some kind of mixed blend of liberal and conservative on opposite sides of their political spectrum.

    2) Perhaps the liberal/conservative model is too simple? I’m thinking that instead of a normal distribution of two variables, perhaps a multi-variable multi-dimensional distribution? (I took that class when I did my master’s degree and it was horrible.) My thinking was to use gender as a reference point more for ease of identification than for actual scientific analysis.

    3) I guess how liberals and conservatives are distributed would depend upon what viewpoint is determined to be the precise midpoint? One persons conservative may be another’s liberal? The idea is more that they are distributed.

    4) If I understand you correctly, I agree with you whole-heartedly on this point. I wrote this piece because I don’t believe any viewpoint can properly be called “God’s viewpoint”. God is much too big for that! But whereas you may want to alleviate suffering in others and promote their welfare (and I commend you for that) another may feel justice is important. Perhaps welfare and justice are both important, and in some way we don’t completely understand both comprise “God’s viewpoint”? Also, just because someone takes a viewpoint too far as to be extreme and even damaging to another group doesn’t mean it can’t start from an acceptable kernel? Evil plays a role here also.

    Thank you for pointing out that I missed the non-traditional families. They are certainly equally a part of the formula, and I will make a point of remembering them in the future.

  4. Thanks for clarifying Bruce! Always a pleasure to read your articles and engage with you. 🙂

    I guess I’m just concerned that one could discern the will of God through a kind of process similar to the “Wisdom of the Markets” idea. I don’t really think knowledge and wisdom are found by aggregating good ideas and bad ones.

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