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What is the encompassing issue that divides liberals and conservatives?
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The centralization-decentralization framework is the most inclusive way to categorize the issues. Framing the debate in this way makes it possible to resolve a whole category of issues rather than countless specific ones and win the debate wholesale rather than retail.
The framework could essentially be thought of as a compass when assessing, for example, proposed legislation. Besides asking, “Is it constitutional?” we could also ask, “Does it centralize or decentralize control?”
Should we begin calling liberals “centralists” and conservatives “decentralists”? Although those aren’t words with much pizzazz, using them, or at least keeping them in mind, would definitely go a long way in making it clear what we’re arguing about.
One big advantage of using the centralism/decentralism terminology is that the words have little or no emotional baggage. The words liberal and conservative carry with them a number of assumptions and stereotypes. These are serious impediments to rational debate.
If you ask, “Are you a centralist or a decentralist?” you are more likely to start a discussion rather than trigger a defensive reaction. Maybe it would even add some “civility” to the debate, if you should care about that kind of thing. It’s also not a bad question to ask yourself to help determine what you believe and why.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?