Mars & Venus at the Ballot Box
It occurs to me that the polarization of America’s two-party system reminds me of the well-established ‘Mars & Venus‘ series by John Gray. If you have not read these, or if it has been a while, I think they are still quite good at helping couples understand that men and women are different…biologically, psychologically, and often philosophically…especially when it comes to needs and wants.
I often look at statements from the opposition and think, “What planet…what reality do you live in where this is really what you think…what you believe?” You hear it on the radio talk shows quite a bit. Astonishment that based on all one sees and hears there are still those who just ‘don’t get it.’
Now, I know there is a great deal of disinformation…and there are number of people, maybe a majority of Americans, who aren’t paying attention to politics and don’t care because they don’t know or understand how politics impacts them…but at the core we have major, FUNDAMENTAL even, differences about the role of government, personal freedoms, and even right & wrong.
Broad generalization for the sake of argument:
Venus – Yin – Plowshares – Caregiver – Urban – Children – Give A Man A Fish – Unbridled – Many Short Relationships – Carrot – Feelings – Apologetic
It’s no accident that the term ‘bleeding heart’ liberal comes up often. These people, like the feminine yin, are fundamentally looking for peace at the cost of all else. They tend to be more interested in the experience of the day than in planning for the long term. The belief in individual non-conformity is tempered only by a mandate of acceptance by all. These are the receivers. These are they who will only marshal a fight only to insist that we all get along. Despite the claim of individuality, they tend toward group-think and social collectivism to answer their need of belonging; and in doing so may cast aside the old ways, the traditions and faiths to pick up something that feels fresh as tilled earth. They often have a deep sadness about the ugliness they see and believe the world needs to be cleansed; they would rather let trees grow and go without paper. They have a need to have a conversation; to discuss; to be understood; to be taken seriously and recognized as valid; revel in the chaotic process of excited interaction. They aggressively want the whole world to benefit from their passive but obvious superiority.
Mars – Yang – Swords – Protector – Rural – Parents – Teach A Man To Fish – Bridled – Fewer Relationships but Deeper – Stick – Facts – Pride
It’s also no accident that conservatives are regarded as hawkish. They, like the masculine yang, are pro-war machine; “the best offense is a good defense.” They believe in being prepared; in planning for the future to ensure stability in the face of the unknown. They fiercely believe individuals are sovereigns who must agree to be governed by law inasmuch as it protects their sovereignty. These are the providers. These are those who need space and time to work out their own sense of what is right, perhaps even appealing to God for a sense of what action to take…and once convinced, will defend it with violence if threatened. Traditions, faith, beliefs are solidly held as guides while the individual navigates mortal existence. They believe the world is what we make it; it is here as a resource that must be managed and maintained properly…like a forest grown for paper; then replanted. They have a need for stability; finality; decision-making and pursuit of goals so success can be measured. They have a need for order, process, structure, and the calm that comes from hard work. They passively want the whole world to benefit from their aggressive but obvious superiority.Now, do I mean that all women are liberal and all men are conservative…of course not. Men and women have common needs and wants too; there is overlap in behavior (coffee clatch; lipstick; designer shoes = poker game; muscles; ties). But I think there are some macro behaviors here that bear additional scrutiny. Is the dismantling of the nuclear family unit during the past fifty years responsible for our inability to communicate with those unlike ourselves? Does it contribute to more aloof male behavior and result in more children with a single parent? Is modern liberalism a true outgrowth of the women’s lib movement of the 60’s? or a combination of that movement with others like the voices of minorities? and is that agenda relevant any more? Are we really seeing our freedoms traded for being a ward of the state for life…into serfdom?
And look, men are offended by the chickification of America…the assault on traditional male roles as leader, protector, provider, hunter, conqueror. These are not nurture traits; these are nature traits. We can no more suppress our sex drive than women can suppress their menses. We must accept that we are different. Liberals have achieved this within their own ranks…strength in diversity. So why is it any less acceptable for boys to be boys…to fight, to win, to get a busted lip…that’s part of what boys need to be men. If you look back at leading men in movies over the years, there is an obvious evolution in what is desirable. Are women as distracted by Hollywood’s portrayal of skeletal androgynous waifs as normal? Do they look back a voluptuous leading ladies and wonder why must they fit this new mold that makes them so unhappy? Tangential? maybe.
I think we can all agree that it is our obligation to care for those who cannot care for themselves…at home, in our community, in our nation. I think we can all agree that we cannot stand as a nation if we don’t prepare and protect ourselves from those who would subdue & enslave us.
Before we can beat swords into plowshares, someone must forge the sword. Order precedes peace. Faith precedes miracles. Obedience precedes blessings.
The chaos of Obama’s presidency has illustrated that we must return to our Founding Fathers’ ideals of a decentralized government, where people are responsible for themselves until they cannot be; and then they are cared for by those who know them best. Homogenized and feminized education has spoiled our next generation with the idea that it does not matter who wins or loses but how you play the game. Ask the British who marched in orderly lines toward the guerrilla tactics of our colonial fathers if winning matters. Ask coaches of professional athletes if winning matters. Ask the farmer if it’s better to have a bumper crop or nothing to sell.
This once was the domain of common sense!
Now maybe I’m a patriarchal old fart. But what I have realized through decades of marriage is that you need Mars and Venus for balance…but you also need the structure of decision-making to move onward and upward. And while exploring our feelings is a necessary part of being human; our spirit must bridle the animal man.
Within ourselves, the head must rule the heart.
Now let me be crystal clear. I am not advocating a marriage of centrism…not at all. Hell, I’m not even advocating a dialog…because at this point, Conservatives simply have to take control of the situation…like a school marm straightens out a pack of unruly students. But what I am trying to convey, is that perhaps there is something to glean from understanding how Liberals think; why they see the world the way they do…and use it against them in order to win.
Sometimes you don’t buy flowers and candy and diamond rings; you say “not interested” and win.