Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quest Opinion: Wedges Issues Divide Americans

I recently discovered a blog – Raging Wisdom – that I highly recommend when it comes to witty commentary on politics. The blog master, Wisefather, has an understanding of politics that allows for insights others seldom consider.

Here’s Rule #4 – Accept the Wedge Issue Truce - in an ongoing series called “Rules for the Class War.”

“If you are going to have a productive and peaceful class war, you should put the other “wars” on hiatus.
Wedge issues are one of the biggest barriers preventing patriotic Americans from uniting to restore American capitalism and recapture America’s greatness. The Crazy Rich and their allies have used these wedge issues to divide us for decades.

These are the issues they use to trick you into turning against your own best interests and those of your country. Here’s a partial list: abortion, gun control, gay rights, flag burning, immigration, Israel, racism, climate change, religion, and terrorism.

Yes, some of those are serious and need resolution, but 1) they are minor in comparison to the rising threat to the integrity of our political process (how power is acquired and its limits), and 2) the pursuit of wedge issues themselves is pointless because they will remain stalemates until our representative democracy can be made properly responsive and functional again.

How can you trust the system to fairly or effectively resolve any of these issues when the process can so easily be co-opted by just a few people? Even if you were to persuade a sizable majority to take your side on your pet issue, your efforts are in vain without a process that responds to that majority instead of the whims a very powerful few.

The defenders of the status quo want us to scuffle over trifles and not notice that they are looting the country’s wealth causing its greatness to crumble.
How do you show that you’ve adopted the wedge issue truce? When someone raises a wedge issue to divide us (or make good TV) call them on it. If they try to insert it into a debate, use the term “wedge issue” like some have used “class warfare.” Tell them, “You are trying to use wedge issues to distract and divide us from what is really important.”

So Class War Rule #4 is: Accept the Wedge Issue Truce. Put all of those on the back burner. Just let it go … for now. Once we “get our country back” and on the right track again, only then can it possibly be worth our time and energy to take up wedge issue debates.
With the wedge issues on the shelf, the working classes (composed of many different people with many different and conflicting beliefs) will find it much easier to come together to work toward greater goals.”

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