The Obsolete Distinction Between Right and Left

While following the American and French presidential elections, it is hard to use the right-wing/left-wing distinction as a framework. The European-style division between classic liberals and socialists does not work in the United States, as socialism is not represented and all candidates support a more-or-less regulated form of capitalism.

Perhaps instead we should adopt a new form of political mapping, and split voters into two new groups: the champions of an open society behind Hillary Clinton, who finds herself in the Democrat camp, and the partisans of a closed society behind Donald Trump, who aligns himself vaguely with the Republican Party.

These two concepts would at least provide a minimum of clarification for the two candidates’ positions. Trump lacks the expertise, but not the coherence. He is against immigration, non-Protestant religions, non-white people and imports, but for interventions by the American military overseas. He fosters a quasi-tribal vision of society, and backs the concept of a strong, centralized government that would make all decisions without consulting with the opposition or the general public. Unsurprisingly


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