Roger Pilon at Cato has a post up about the Arizona controversy regarding political speech and the profound differences we now experience in a divided society.
Pilon links to Daniel Henninger at WSJ and, while I had not read this piece, it fits in with my post The Political Art of Obfuscation. The question is what type of foundational, cultural differences do we experience? I suppose there are many, but I would suggest the most meaningful distincton to make in this case is between a political culture practicing political means and private sector culture practicing economic means -- these two cultures are broad and over-arching, but the more specific differences of gender, geography, race, etc, I believe, while important in their own specific ways, are not as clarifying as this broader division between political means and economic means, especially when we're talking about unemployment, national debt, the healthcare law and other things related to our financial crisis -- and this is where the conflict lies in the political/economic realms.
The culture of the political class is foreign to many who produce and work in the private sector, and political means appear manipulative and ineffective to many who understand where jobs and economic growth originate. The private sector culture is foreign to many in the political class, as we see from how they talk about the private sector, Fat Cats and the need for more infrastructure spending, and how their actions to solve problems appear counter-productive to business people. We also cool down the rhetoric by lifting the debate to this level of concern, while the other differences are ironed out in communities, national conversations focused on these issues and between individuals. The problem is that these other cultural issues are brought into the debate and they obfuscate the broader division making it difficult to solve problems which affect us all, which are related to the economy and government intervention into the economy. When we politicize every issue affecting our society, dividing "culture" between two political parties, it creates the kind of ballistic back and forth so many are condemning.