Friday, January 14, 2011

At the Crossroads

Everybody's talking about how polarized the U.S. is politically.  The main divide, of course, is between The Left (aka Liberals, aka Blue Staters, aka Progressives), and The Right (aka Conservatives, aka Red Staters, aka Regressives?)  To understand their differences, think of the country as a highway, with lots of roads feeding into it.  A very busy highway.

Now if you're already on the highway, zooming along, the last thing you want is traffic lights.  They'll only slow you down and cause jams.  Of course, if you're trying to make a left turn, and there's a steady stream of on-coming traffic in the other direction, you might appreciate a left-turn signal once in a while, but generally, if you're on the highway, you want to avoid turning left.

On the other hand, if you're on a side street, trying to get on the highway, or even just get across it, you're probably going to wish for a light.  The traffic zooming along on the highway never lets up, and no one will let you get on or across.

Now the Red Stater would say, "Traffic lights are bad.  It costs taxpayer money to enforce them, it creates bureaucracy, and it just slows down everyone on the highway.

The Blue Stater says, "There are an awful lot of people who can't seem to get on the highway.  We need more traffic lights to give everyone an opportunity."

Then the Red Stater retorts, "Hey, there's a light about 12 miles that way.  Why can't people just get on there?"

Blue Stater: "But that takes them 24 miles out of their way!  Think of all the extra gas they would waste doing that all the time!"

Red Stater: "I knew you'd work the gas thing in there somehow.  You and your precious little environment."

Blue: "Not my environment.  Anyway, we're getting off track.  The real problem is that you just want to keep the highway for Mercedeses and Lexuses.  Lexi?"

Red: "And you want it overrun with Hyundai!"

Blue: "At least people can afford them."

Red: "But they can't accelerate enough to get on the highway."

And so on.

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