When I first set up this blog, I assumed that political stances were a spectrum, with Liberal on one side and Conservative on the other. I had further assumed that I tended to slide back and forth on this spectrum, now little pink, now baby blue, now and then no color at all.
I've come to question this. It is, after all, a very one-dimensional way of looking at things.
There's a classic treatise called Flatland, that discusses, among other things, how the world must look to two-dimensional beings. They can see left and right, but not over. Wonderful discussion, and I think it might apply to political thought.
How, for instance, can I be at the same time an environmentalist and a hunter? A conservative who wants universal health care? A man who understands why fundamentalists do the things they do but would waste the whole tribe anyway?
I have a friend who believes the earth is 6000 years old. We go outside and see clearly, the striations in the landscape, the buckling of the earth, the eons-old erosion patterns, the seashells at 7000 feet. What about them? A cosmic quiz; God did it to test our faith.
If I'm liberal, I see things as a liberal sees them, in one dimension (ditto conservative, of course).
I think in order to see things straight, we need to see them widely, rather than narrowly.