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Left/Right vs Populist/Elitist

Updated on April 19, 2016

One of the ways in which the “establishment” and the drain stream media continue to confuse and bamboozle the voting public is through their use of the terms “left” and “right”.

Even those of us who should know better fall into this trap. It is lazy shorthand for something supposedly so complex that it is in need of lazy shorthand. In fact, all it does is encourage stereotypical thinking and entrenched “opinion”.

One mustn't overlook the fact that the less educated a voter is, the more likely it is that he or she will latch on to an “opinion” and hang on to it for dear life. Many under-educated voters are doing just that - looking to form an opinion to latch on to. On “left” versus “right”, they will be happy to latch on to the nationalist jingoism and the elementary school morality of the right because the term “right” doesn't capture the seething contradictions and exploitations inherent in “right” thinking.

But we know it's not about “left” or “right”. These are vacuous, meaningless terms. They are custom built for elementary opinion formers looking for cheap opinions upon which to hang their hats. Something they can do without having to think too deeply or get out of depth or, worst of all, appear uninformed.

A much more useful and accurate label for the distinction between “left” versus “right” is “Populist” versus “Elitist”. It says much more, and more readily identifies the underlying issues. It has much more clarity about whose interests are being served by which side of the divide.

If you are a “right” opinionist, you love your country and stand up for christian rectitude, however you might define it. If you are an “elitist” opinionist, it is much more difficult to avoid facing up to the fact that you are primarily supporting the interests of the few against the many.


© 2016 Deacon Martin

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