Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Partisan Potential

Partisanship is kind of like an electric field.

On the one end, you have the liberal progressives, and the other extreme is conservative.

People are like charged particles in this "partisan field".  The field draws particles one way or another.  The stronger the field, the faster things move, and more particles are drawn toward the extremes ...

If our national partisan divide was a battery, it's like something keeps charging it all the time.  It keeps getting a higher potential all the time, and drawing the particles (the people) more strongly to one side or another, leaving fewer in between.

I think major events, world-shaking events for good or bad, are like a resistance, something that can discharge the battery and keep the potential in check.  The resistance drains off energy from the potential, reducing it, preventing it from getting to intense.  Things like stock market crash, WWII, the moon landings, presidential assassinations, the 9/11 attacks.  The events don't have to be bad, but it seems like most are.  When they happen, people unify - the partisan divide shrinks a bit, for a while - like somebody connected a resistance to the national battery for time.

What's continously charging this battery, anyway?

Most people will know that different charges attract one another, while like charges repel from each other.  But people are different.  Like views attract, and differing views seem to repel.  Democrats and Republicans repel.  Just the opposite of electric charge.  What are the consequences of this?

Well, a battery that is subject to these rules wouldn't have a + and - terminal, it would have two identical terminals.  Two + terminals.  Or two - terminals.  I guess there would in fact be two different kinds of batteries; a + one and a - one.

Maybe there's an infinite number of battery types, all the way between + and - and everything inbetween.  Perhaps the national battery is, or should be, neutral.  Nah, neither the + nor - charges would be attracted to that.  Remember, similar charges attract in this weird world.  + and 0  repel; - and 0 repel.  Or do they?

Neutral charge would be analogous to centrism, and both the left and right seem to repel from that most of the time.  Interestingly, both the left and right want to claim this middle-of-the-road as their own.

Maybe the battery would still have a + and - side.  A charged particle of either kind would move through that kind of circuit still.  Yeah, that's probably it.

So what IS the national partisanship "battery" analogous to?   Is it just a stupid analogy to begin with?  Maybe.