Where's the common ground between right and left?

An unanticipated benefit of the internet has been online magazines and blogs that provide a forum for exchange between people who otherwise wouldn't talk to each other.  An article sets the subject, and then people from all over comment.  These comments show that a serious rift exists between competing narratives in America, illustrated in attitudes about the current president and his immediate predecessor.

On the left is the belief that Barack Obama is an honest man, that he really is one of the smartest presidents of all time, that proof of this is his background as a Harvard Law grad and editor of the Law Review.  If you don't agree with this, you're a racist who doesn't want to admit that black men are capable of such attainments.

The left thinks Donald Trump is a charlatan and knave, that he inherited his wealth, that he has earned nothing on his own, that he set up students in his university so he could rip them off, that his six bankruptcies indicate a high-roller thief, that he's a racist and his wife a former call girl.

Opposed to this narrative is what the not-left believes.  (The not-left is too complex to reduce to a single word – conservative? neocon? libertarian? #NeverTrump?)  To most on the not-left – not all, but most – the left's narrative is totally bogus.

Obama did graduate from Harvard Law, but it's far from clear that he did it legitimately.  He was named editor of the Law Review, and that, too, is suspicious – the sealed past indicating sneakiness rather than brains.

The not-left believes that as a top developer in New York City, Donald Trump took a good inheritance and multiplied it with talent, brains, and honest hard work – that through his books and open lifestyle, his background is known to anyone who wants to know.  The story of Trump University and the bankruptcies is more complex than what the left reduces it to.

These two ways of thinking have no intermediate ground.  There is no way to bridge the gap, because the left thinks the not-left selfish and evil, while the not-left thinks the left dishonest and lunatic.

We're observing a major collision of worldviews in America and elsewhere.  The outcome will set the course of civilization for probably another several centuries, so it's vital that you know where you stand and why.  That isn't always easy, because the two sides can sound alike in their plaints about each other; each says the other invents facts, calls names, ignores evidence, and practices hypocrisy.

Two points of view so deeply at odds can't both be right, and an accommodation won't do even if one could be reached.  Compromise between right and wrong necessarily pulls the right toward the wrong.  What's needed is victory for the good and defeat for the bad.

If you find it hard to know who is right and who wrong, keep paying attention.  Weighty moral issues are at stake, so be sure of your moral compass and remember that talk's cheap.  By their actions you will know them.

An unanticipated benefit of the internet has been online magazines and blogs that provide a forum for exchange between people who otherwise wouldn't talk to each other.  An article sets the subject, and then people from all over comment.  These comments show that a serious rift exists between competing narratives in America, illustrated in attitudes about the current president and his immediate predecessor.

On the left is the belief that Barack Obama is an honest man, that he really is one of the smartest presidents of all time, that proof of this is his background as a Harvard Law grad and editor of the Law Review.  If you don't agree with this, you're a racist who doesn't want to admit that black men are capable of such attainments.

The left thinks Donald Trump is a charlatan and knave, that he inherited his wealth, that he has earned nothing on his own, that he set up students in his university so he could rip them off, that his six bankruptcies indicate a high-roller thief, that he's a racist and his wife a former call girl.

Opposed to this narrative is what the not-left believes.  (The not-left is too complex to reduce to a single word – conservative? neocon? libertarian? #NeverTrump?)  To most on the not-left – not all, but most – the left's narrative is totally bogus.

Obama did graduate from Harvard Law, but it's far from clear that he did it legitimately.  He was named editor of the Law Review, and that, too, is suspicious – the sealed past indicating sneakiness rather than brains.

The not-left believes that as a top developer in New York City, Donald Trump took a good inheritance and multiplied it with talent, brains, and honest hard work – that through his books and open lifestyle, his background is known to anyone who wants to know.  The story of Trump University and the bankruptcies is more complex than what the left reduces it to.

These two ways of thinking have no intermediate ground.  There is no way to bridge the gap, because the left thinks the not-left selfish and evil, while the not-left thinks the left dishonest and lunatic.

We're observing a major collision of worldviews in America and elsewhere.  The outcome will set the course of civilization for probably another several centuries, so it's vital that you know where you stand and why.  That isn't always easy, because the two sides can sound alike in their plaints about each other; each says the other invents facts, calls names, ignores evidence, and practices hypocrisy.

Two points of view so deeply at odds can't both be right, and an accommodation won't do even if one could be reached.  Compromise between right and wrong necessarily pulls the right toward the wrong.  What's needed is victory for the good and defeat for the bad.

If you find it hard to know who is right and who wrong, keep paying attention.  Weighty moral issues are at stake, so be sure of your moral compass and remember that talk's cheap.  By their actions you will know them.