Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Political Conversation – Day Twelve

Dem: Elizabeth Warren sent me an email. A few years ago, while she was pitching a group of congressmen on the benefits of her Consumer Protection Agency, Representative Michael Grimm from New York interrupted her, “I don’t believe in government.” That shocked Elizabeth. It shocks me. You claimed, Healing begins with a diagnosis. As The Man said, “Please proceed, Governor.”

Pol sci: Happily, but first as a citizen. “Representative Grimm, you’ve infiltrated our government at a high level in order to destroy it. You’re a domestic terrorist.”

Dem: Pow! Meanwhile, what did you mean, “Healing begins with a diagnosis?”

Pol sci: Imagine I’m teaching Government 101. Fundamentally, government integrates the Moral Sense with Common Sense. The two legislative bodies, elected representatives of the people, serve as conduits for the group’s problems by offering bills for their remedy, These bills, whether sponsored by Democrats or Republicans, have a factual and moral dimension.

Dem: You’re not going to say Republicans handle one dimension and Democrats the other?

Pol sci: Absolutely not. However, we know from Schmidts’s Law that 47% of the political population is Republican and 47% is Democratic. It’s an historical fact that The Right emphasizes the moral, The Left the factual. Government is the vehicle for reconciling the two.

Dem: And there’s your diagnosis. That’s simple enough. It spares us a boring civics lesson by Herr Professor.

Pol sci: Both parties have to identify the facts and both have to make a judgment on the basis of the facts.

Dem: So then the sickness in our government is that presently the Republicans formulate The Moral while disregarding facts, like climate change.

Pol sci: The Moral has become ideological, not instrumental, and that’s the bacillus responsible for the Republicans’ illness. It’s a tough diagnosis. It exonerates the Democrats, so, of course, it’s hopelessly biased.

Dem: That was my first thought.

Pol sci: Everyone’s first thought! “You should always provide ‘On the other hand.'” When that’s not true, and you extend that “other hand,” you’ll find it suffers palsy. A diagnosis needs accuracy, and, in this matter, it takes courage to violate, seemingly, fair play. The truth is the sickness in our body politic is that the Republicans suffer from concrete thinking, specifically, the Moral Sense is expressed ideologically, a metaphysical zone inaccessible to physical reality, that is, data from common sense. Denial of climate change is an excellent example. The Republican fixation on The Deficit, Cut Spending, Grover Norquist’s No New Taxes Pledge has a metaphysical reality, not relevant to common sense, which it ignores.

Dem: And all we have to do is shove that bitter medicine down Mitch McConnell’s throat. Are you kidding me?

Pol sci: Robert Koch identified the tubercle bacillus, the cause of an unimaginably devastating plague. One in seven folks died of tuberculosis. In 1870, life expectancy was 36 years. Koch made a truly inspired diagnosis. He made the White Plague a physical reality.  It was a breathtaking conceptual break-through. It made tuberculosis a workable problem. He then claimed he had found a cure. That was an unspeakable disaster.

Dem: All right, we’ll stick to the diagnosis.  Biology is responsible for the Moral Sense, our five senses for common sense. The interrelationship between the two is our responsibility, both Republicans and Democrats.

Pol sci: In its deep structure, politics is a contest, a fierce blood sport, but, fundamentally, one based on competition not rivalry between Darwin’s Moral Sense and Freud’s Sexualized Body Ego. (Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage, Stature of Women, Food Stamps etc.) It’s by far the most important “Game” on the planet.

Dem: Brevity is the soul of wit. On those grounds, your diagnosis may qualify, even as inspired.

Pol sci: On the other hand, it may qualify as sancta simplicitas.





A Political Conversation – Day Eleven

Pol sci: In the middle of the night, in a frenzy I would lose something “inspired,” I reconstructed this part of our last conversation.

Me: “Imagine I’m the Moral Sense. Do I pick prudery or pornography? As a matter of fact, I pick both. Of course! I was there at the beginning. I’m the one who sent each of them on their way, one to Vienna, the other to Hollywood.

You: “Did you give them a map?”

Me: “That’s the key question. The answer is No.”

You: “Who gave them directions?”

Me: “No one.”

You: “No one showed them the way?”

Me: “That’s correct. No one showed them the way.”

Pol sci: Here’s my take on what we said. Even as we come into this world with a brain wired for symbolic language, so everyone is born with a Moral Sense.  Which language we actually learn to speak is an accident of our personal history. We don’t arrive clutching a Chinese grammar. The same is true of The Moral Sense. It doesn’t come with a map. It offers no hidden rules on prudery or pornography.

Dem: That we don’t arrive speaking French or Chinese is true but hardly inspired. We had to solve the problem of communication, made urgent by our helplessness at birth, our extended childhood, and driven by our exploding brain.

Pol sci:  Granted! Now what was the Number One problem for the uncounted thousands of hunter-gatherer tribes during the Pleistocene? Survival! The Group made survival possible, the Moral Sense the conditions within the Group to favor survival. Whether as Tribe Vienna or as Tribe Hollywood, it spelled out relationships within the tribe itself – how tribe members were to get along with each other. And, without exception, the Moral Sense made other tribes the enemy, Us vs Them. That fundamental hostility towards The Stranger can be glimpsed in the armies of harmless ghosts marching into the Olympics. “This is OUR flag. This is OUR Tribe. We are proud FAN-atics.” Every country in the world musters those same ghosts, waving that same flag, a million years old. Tribal is in our blood.

Dem: You imply Republicans whole-hogged the Moral Sense, while the Democrats ran off with common sense. That doesn’t make sense.

Pol sci: Of course it doesn’t. If that were true, you’d always have the dreadful impasse we have right now in Congress. The Republicans openly, defiantly, cruelly disregard any facts. Actually, they have whole-hogged the Moral Sense, reducing it to pure ideology. Facts of climate change in the midst of roaring fires defiantly dismissed. Need for minimum wage thrown out with bogus economics. 1000 to one ratio between management and  worker compensation ignored as a global army of fast food workers marches in protest.

Dem: I’m a Democrat. If you’re saying Democrats don’t have a Moral Sense, that not only doesn’t make sense but is annoying. And Republicans aren’t that out of touch with the real world.

Pol sci: Darwin recognized the Moral Sense as a biologic structure. Why 47% of a population favors the Moral Sense and 47% favors common sense is a mystery. The Right emphasizes The Moral, The Left common sense. The fact of having your feet on the ground so that experience tells you what IS, leaves us in the same fix: ISSES do not make OUGHTS. They do not create a vision. Sense experience can’t slip in a prayer when wrapping a loaf of bread. That’s why a two-party system is absolutely necessary for a functioning government, each party making for a more balanced body politic. Historians attribute the success of the three decades from Eisenhower to Carter the result of a working two-party system. The Ryan Budget defiantly flaunts The Deficit as the sole driving force with his vicious, breath-taking budget cuts, even though the actual deficit has been halved. He throws in, gratuitously, the moral depravity of the poor. When, like The Cheese, the Moral Sense stands alone, divorced from its indispenable partner, Common Sense, what you get is a nation in political travail. Healing begins with a diagnosis.



A Political Conversation – Day Ten

Pol sci: Your Zen biker threw out the question,

“And what is good,
And what is not good –
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?”

My answer: Yes we do. That’s why the Moral Sense evolved – “to tell us these things.” The big question – What gives the Moral Sense the authority to do so?

Dem: (pause) Well, don’t just sit there. Cat got your tongue?

Pol sci: I don’t have an easy answer. With Freud’s Super Ego, the lines of authority are obvious. The child’s version of what the parents judged good or not good becomes a permanent part of his personality. His Super Ego carries the message, “Mama says,” even after mama’s been dead fifty years.

Dem: Jared Diamond –  we talked about this! – described one Stone Age tribe with a culture along the lines of 19th century Vienna, the culture of the tribe in the next valley as open sexually as 21st century Hollywood. Prudery or pornography, take your pick.

Pol sci: And if these polar opposites are the workings of a single Moral Sense, a biologic structure transmitted universally from generation to generation through DNA, well, then, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Dem: Yes, we do.

Pol sci: I don’t have an answer, but I have a theory. If correct, it may shed light on our original problem, Schmidts Law: In every election, 47% vote Republican, 47% vote Democratic. First off, imagine I’m the Moral Sense. Do I pick prudery or pornography? As a matter of fact, I pick both. Of course! I was there at the beginning. I’m the one who sent each of them on their way, one to Vienna, the other to Hollywood.

Dem: (pause) Did you give them a map?

Pol sci: Whoa, Nellie! That’s the key question. Brilliant! The answer is No.

Dem: (pause) Who gave them directions?

Pol sci: No one.

Dem: No one showed them the way?

Pol sci: That’s correct. No one showed them the way.

Dem: Not the Moral Sense?

Pol sci: Here’s where my theory comes in. The Moral Sense operates like our biologically transmitted potential for language. We are born with the language pump primed, and miraculously, by age two, kids the world over speak their native tongue with correct grammar. The pump doesn’t tell them to speak French or Latin or Chinese. The Moral Sense does not give out maps locating Damascus or Mt. Sinai. Or has a preference either for prudery or pornography.

Dem: All the Republicans signed Paul Ryan’s budget, a consensus compatible with each member’s Moral Sense. Every Democrat comes with the same Moral Sense, and the political differences with Republicans are off the map. Explain that.

Pol sci: Republicans prescribe, Democrats describe. Recent example: Republicans prescribe for The Deficit; Democrats describe the needs of hungry kids. Republicans interact with reality shaped by their Moral Sense, Democrats with reality registering on the five senses, same as science.

Dem: We live in separate universes. Republicans view the world from above with pre-conceived conditions, Democrats stumble around in the muck and the mire below, experiencing the factual.

Pol sci: The Right speaks with the authority of the Moral, ideology more important than the factual. The Left accesses the world through the five senses, sensitive to political problems grounded in sense experience – hungry children, three unemployed for every one job, facts of climate change. The Right generates “OUGHTS.” The Left recognizes what IS. But an IS doesn’t translate into what one should do. ISSES don’t turn into OUGHTS. That’s why a workable two-party system is fundamental to the success of a democracy. The Moral Sense frames one world out of an infinite number of possibilities. David Thoreau understood this when offered heaven on his deathbed, “Please, one world at a time.”














for one job,


Dem: he two-party political system is grounded on this conundrum. If a group practices politics at an untampered ballot box, it will always split into The Right and The Left. Two parties. Politics grapples with the interrelationship  between the world as registered through the five senses on The Left and the Moral Sense authorizing its world on The Right.

A Political Conversation – Day Nine

Pol sci: We’ve agreed that every hominid is a neomorph, the only living creature combining Freud’s Body Ego with Darwin’s Moral Sense. The prophet Micah put it this way, “Without a vision, the people perish,” Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone.” The two-party political system is grounded on this conundrum. If a group practices politics at an untampered ballot box, it will always split into The Right and The Left. Two parties. Politics grapples with the interrelationship  between the world as registered through the five senses on The Left and the Moral Sense authorizing its world on The Right.

Dem: I heard Rick Santorum, one-time Republican candidate for President of the whole United States speak out – AGAIN! – against contraception. It encourages promiscuity, he said, and that’s not how sex is supposed to work.

Pol sci: Santorum is a stunning example of Darwin and his Moral Sense locked in battle with Freud’s Body Ego.

Dem: Are you saying that all political problems come down to the Moral Sense and the Body Ego? That’s a stretch. What about laws regulating commerce, the environment, banking, immigration, the list goes on and on. Of what relevance is the Body Ego?

Pol sci: Freud’s Body Ego is in fact a Sexualized Body Ego. It is the flag-bearer of Freud’s greatest discovery, infantile sexuality. We know that a “native” acquisition of a language is age dependent, something under six or seven. The same is true for long-term benefits of early education. Has to happen under age five. It is within these time frames that Freud recognized infantile sexuality is front and center. A child gives up a fantasied sexualized relationship with a parent, but salvages the relationship by setting up the loved one inside himself. That loved object becomes the Super Ego or conscience. The child stays on loving terms by doing what the parent wants, even if dead and gone. The voice of conscience keeps alive that long-lost love. Being on the outs with one’s conscience is terrible. What would mama or papa think! Nothing worse than a bad conscience. But remember, the Super Ego speaks with the voice of early childhood. It is not the voice of reason.

Dem: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, drives me up the wall. Sir Lawrence, one-time chief of staff to Secretary of State, Colin Powell, says he’ll take to his grave the shame of preparing Powell’s lies to the UN, justifying the Iraq invasion. And he excoriates the Republicans from top to bottom for their impossible behavior. And then he hastens to add, “But I’m still a Republican.”

Pol sci: Papa says….from inside Wilkerson’s head! It is claimed that 30% of every group, to a lesser or greater degree, shapes its world-view based on a paranoid thinking disorder. It has to be that way, a critical fact that needs to  be recognized. It is an interpretation of reality as experienced in early childhood and made permanent by the construction of the Super Ego. In Freud’s terminology, the child introjects his sexualized love, which must be abandoned, but continues the relationship by staying on good terms through obedience to the Super Ego. This control center specifies which behavior is pleasing to the original love and is clung to through thick and thin. No wonder conscience makes cowards of us all. These goings on in the human interior can lead to no good. The child is the sole architect of the Super Ego, and it’s not Frank Lloyd Wright at work. The child’s specifications are primitive, shockingly contradictory, like as not, deaf to the voice of reason. How could it be otherwise! What does a youngster make of the terrifying monster towering over him, booming thunder? Yet his internalization of the experience becomes a permanent force throughout his life.  Does the Tea Party come to mind? Or the shocking arrogance of Mario Rubio denying climate change yesterday, when at the same time scientists predicted a ten foot rise in sea level from the melting of the western half of Antartica? Kids say the darndest things.

Dem: I took my first ride on that Zen motorcycle. Forty years ago I made the whole trip. The first thing the author-philosopher-biker asked came across like a roaring Harley:

“And what is good,
And what is not good –
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?”

Pol sci: Freud gave that  question a good whack. It lets me crawl into John Boehner’s world and not need a strait-jacket when I crawl out.


A Political Conversation – Day Eight

Pol sci: I want to clear up a problem. I’m a political scientist, yet I’m also a Democrat. How can I do the science? Well, I’m also a citizen. That’s an irreducible fact. Denial is not the answer. Sunshine is. I’ve checked out other political scientists. Yuval Levin wrote a marvelous, even-handed book, The Great Debate, pitting Edmund Burke on The Right against Thomas Paine on The Left. He himself, Yuval the Citizen, is a Conservative. Chris Mooney wrote The Republican Brain. Objective and clinical – and empathic. A citizen on The Left. Drew Westen came out with a blockbuster, The Political Brain. First-rate political science. Bill Clinton gushed over it. He’s a Democrat. We’ve corresponded.

Dem: I knew from our first conversation you were a Democrat.   No doubt you could talk with Paul Ryan about the metaphysics of political science. He loves to think of himself as a deep thinker. But what the hell do Jim Clyburn, or Elijah Cummings, have to talk about with him? What is there to say when you’re battered by a monologue of Republican boiler plate?

Pol sci: Republicans, with Obama as President, have withdrawn from two-party politics. By signing on to the Ryan Budget, they flaunted the fact they are impervious to negative feedback from Democrats. There is no more provocative document than that proposed Budget. The result, politics as we know it does not exist in America – at the present time.

Dem: Didn’t our biologist warn us living systems blow up, or something fatal happens, without negative feedback? Ain’t happening. Republicans have made Obamacare their sole vehicle for negative feedback. Now that The Affordable Care Act is off and running, they simply lie, mangling the facts and peddling them in an Orwellian dialect.

Pol sci: The genius of the Founding Fathers was drawing up a workable blueprint for two-party politics. Go through all of history, and the last form of government to arrive is two party politics.

Dem: And I know why. My dad went from being “my ‘ol Pappy ” to a reasonable facsimile of Mitch McConnell. I arrived at family functions with those two explosives called Vietnam and Nixon strapped on. And guess what!

Pol sci: Boom! It’s what Drew Weston tries to teach Democrats – politics lives in the belly.

Dem: I was listening to Senator Tom Coburn today on C-Span. He was for abolishing minimum wage entirely, on moral grounds. He was passionate. Then I heard Senator Bernie Sanders list the extra month’s groceries a raise to $10.10 would provide. He was even more passionate.

Pol sci:  Political failure is inevitable because each Senator lives in a separate world. A vast gulf lies between them, reflecting the failure of two party politics. All human beings inhabit two worlds, Coburn’s world spins on a moral axis, and there the race lives in moral space. It evolved during the Pleistocene, discovered by Darwin as the Moral Sense. Sander’s world spins on what I call sensible space, one registering on the five senses. You can see, taste, feel, smell groceries. You can’t moral precepts, which don’t register as sensible objects. Arithmetic doesn’t work with them, works just fine with groceries. Coburn lives in moral space, Sanders in physical space.

Dem: Qualia?

Pol sci: When space opens up. Blog space.

Dem: I’ll ride in on my brand new Zen motorcycle. What a bargain! Cost me five bucks. Well, ten with handling and postage.

A Political Conversation – Day Seven

Pol sci: Here’s the insight that shouted out, EUREKA!

Dem: Jesus!

Pol sci: “Politics in its deep structure is always a battle between Freud’s Body Ego and Darwin’s Moral Sense.” When Paul Ryan talked with the members of the Black Caucus a few days ago, Ryan was utterly indifferent to the fact that his Budget details an all-out assault on the Body Ego of their constituents, many of them still the invalids of our society, as recognized by Patrick Moynihan years ago.

Dem: Maybe Moynihan could have escaped the fire-storm by ‘pointing’ his message for Gregorian chant. My Republican father  would have tutored him.

Pol sci: Irish Patrick was a Democrat.

Dem: Oops!

Pol sci:  Without negative feedback, The Right and The Left will end up…well, where they are now, No Where. In total gridlock.

Dem: Whatever happened to our Manifest Destiny?

Pol sci: What happened between Rand Paul and Elijah Cummings portends a failed destiny.

Dem: Every Republican from Dog-Catcher to our almost Vice President presents the same formula –  rein in spending, reduce the deficit, cut taxes,  Hell, every Republican signed off on the Ryan Budget. They should be arrested for Assault and Battery on the most vulnerable in our society.

Pol sci: Ryan’s budget is driven by the Moral Sense. One, the government spends money recklessly. Bad. That’s what got us into such debt in the first place. Two, as punishment, or at least penance, we must tighten our belts and cut the deficit, Now! Three, cut taxes. Government is never helpful, an intrusive menace, a spendthrift –  besides threatening our liberty. The less money the less harm government can do.

Dem: That’s why Elijah Cummings was so discouraged. If government can’t help, who will? There’s no help on the way, no cavalry even saddled. Tell Elijah to get a soapbox. A tall one. High as a pulpit. Then invite Paul Ryan to any inner city in Maryland, you know, that godforsaken real estate that’s in every city in America where those who live there have abandoned hope. And then let Ryan climb up there and talk like he did to the Black Caucus.

Pol sci:  He would! Without batting an eye. Why? Because no feedback from Freud’s Body Ego registers. Republicans don’t have eyes that see or ears that hear. Fixation on ideology blinds them to physical realities. Shuts their ears.

Dem: John Boehner, and that lean and hungry Cassius, Eric Cantor, send me screaming into the night. It’s worse than their bald-faced lying. It’s the air-tight, sealed Bubble…No, it’s worse. It’s that the cries of pain THEY CAUSE are scattered to the winds, by them never heard again. The rest of us get blasted. A Latino kid tells of her suffering while Boehner is at a counter having breakfast. Nothing. Gone with the wind. Somebody said it best – Republican behavior is “awesome in its evilness.” Historians agree that one man, Hitler, caused World War II. One man, George W., one man, caused the war in Iraq. One man, John Boehner, denies an unemployment check of $313 a week to 2.5 million Americans – since Christmas! And one man, John Boehner, blocks Immigration Reform which would ease the terror of eleven million illegals, many here forever. One man! Is it over the top to charge we have a domestic terrorist for Speaker of the House?

Pol sci: Darwin’s discovery of the Moral Sense goes unrecognized. It’s an epochal achievement. It links politics, the most powerful and consequential activity of the race, with biology’s four billion year evolving complexity. The Moral Sense gives us a conceptual tool congruent with the profundity of political life.

Dem: I thought science had milked the Darwin cow dry.

Pol sci: Darwin ‘s cow is a dairy, the biggest mama cow in all of science. That’s why I’m not sleeping well. I’m back in the barn milking Darwin’s cow. I’m glimpsing a deep complementarity between Darwin’s Moral Sense and Freud’s Body Ego. That makes me nervous. Why should I go sailing around like I’m Christopher Columbus?

Dem: Maybe you’re just surfing The Wedge and live to tell the tale.

Pol sci: The story involves qualia.

Dem: Now you’re talking  like a political scientist. Qualia! This time I’m ready. Zen on a Motorcycle arrived this morning. Three days. Five bucks. Maybe that crazy motorcycle is big enough for the two of us. Together we’ll ride into the wild, blue yonder. Maybe all the way to Darwin’s barn.

Pol sci: I’ll bring a map.



A Political Conversation – Day Six

Dem: The Congressional Black Caucus met with Paul Ryan the other day. Ranking member, Elijah Cummings from Maryland, reported Ryan, without batting an eye, trotted out the fixed Republican position: reduce spending, cut the deficit, shrink the national debt. Talk about two ships passing in the night! Cummings was not surprised, but deeply discouraged.

Pol sci: Let’s call in our biologist: “Negative feedback is the rule in biology, from molecules to planets. Human group life is a biological structure, and therefore will work only through negative feedback.” Why is our government at a standstill? The Republicans, from the night of Obama’s Inauguration,  all but took an oath not only to bring down Democrats but to paralyse Democratic legislative initiatives entirely. So you have the Moral Sense completely shaping Ryan’s plan, and Body Ego imperatives such as raising the minimum wage or releasing unemployment benefits for two and a half million constituents not even registering on the radar.

Dem: 75% of the country is with the Democrats on all those issues.

Pol sci: You tell me, – has that made a difference?

Dem: No more than my rantings against Nixon made a difference to my Republican father.

Pol sci: And vice as they say versa.

Dem: I loved my father once. But, as they say,  that was in another country. Besides, he’s dead.

Pol sci: Paul Ryan is alive and well.

Dem: Isn’t plotting to bring down our government an act of treason? This is not a hypothetical. A year ago Republicans shut our government down for nearly two weeks. Locked the doors and hid the keys.

Pol sci: I’ve thought about that. Our long history, the longest on record, gives us a durability, a trust, an unshakeable belief in the sacredness of our traditions, a conviction about our destiny, and we survive. And luck! We were in the same terminal condition as the Weimar Republic, March of 1933. We got Roosevelt, Germany Hitler. Check back in twelve years, United States the Superpower of the world, Germany in ashes.  Hitler and Roosevelt came to power a month or two apart. They died a month apart.

Dem: My dad was an early supporter of Hitler. I’d hear him and my piano teacher, a German refugee, talking, sotto voce, about Hitler transforming the highway system. And bringing full employment to Germany. Just thinking about all that gives me abdominal cramps. It IS in my DNA. The race knew what it was talking about when it said not to talk about politics. And religion.

Pol sci: Those two come strapped with explosives, like suicide bombers.

Dem: Of course, politics is all you talk about. But then, you’re a political scientist. That’s as good as an imprimatur from Pope Francis, who also talks political. You post our pipsqueak conversations on your blog. I won’t embarrass you and ask how many hits you get.

Pol sci: John Adams, staggeringly well read, couldn’t believe how little attention had been given to politics throughout history. Not even pipsqeaks. Yet it’s the most important human activity. By far. Ask the Syrians. Ask the gays in Rwanda. Ask the hungry children no longer on foodstamps.

Dem: Boehner, the meanest man in the world. He drives me crazy. But the Democrats make me murderous! 60% of the electorate doesn’t vote in Mid-Term Elections, the majority, Democrats. Why bother? It’s only for Senators and Representatives. And do you know that Republican billionaires have already spent ten times more money than in any previous Mid-Term, in TOTAL! And the election campaign hasn’t even started.  The Democrats are doing what? Schmoozing Obama?

Pol sci: Hate is the best motivator. It’s easier to do the science of politics than….

Dem:  Okay. Okay. In the next space that opens up, we’ll pipsqueak biology.




A Political Conversation – Day Five

Dem: No Eureka?

Pol Sci: First we got work to do. Seriously. This political scientist wants your opinion – Do you think I heard the Mother of All Eurekas?

Dem: Us Democrats pride ourselves on working with scientists. Seriously.

Pol sci: So here’s my alleged blockbuster. Schmidt’s Law states that in every election, 47% vote Republican, 47% vote Democratic. Ever since the French Revolution, in every political system which allows freedom of expression at the polling booth, this even split between The Right and The Left follows Schmidt’s Law.

Dem: Tell me about it – like the upcoming 2014 Midterm Elections! On every issue Republicans should get their ass kicked. Polls are 50-50. Probably 47-47.

Pol sci: Such a durable pattern of behavior, universally observed over centuries, has to be grounded in biology. More precisely, in the human genome, our DNA. Nothing is more established than that genetically we all belong to the same species.

Dem: That’s from the Democratic Bible. Obviously, the Moral Sense figures in your Eureka. We’ve beaten that drum enough.

Pol sci: The Moral Sense solves half our political problem. The other half was right under our nose. You made the crucial observation. You observed that over the course of your lifetime, Republicans always focused on moral issues, Democrats on bread and butter.

Dem: Right. So? What am I missing?

Pol sci: After wrestling with Jacob’s angel half the night, EUREKA!

Dem: Jesus! That’s loud enough to qualify, I’ll give you that.

Pol sci: Freud came up with the second half. He made the crucial diagnosis: “The ego is first and foremost a body ego.” He discovered the body. You discovered it all over again.

Dem: So Democrats are all Freudians? That’s your ear-splitting Eureka?

Pol sci: Freud contributed half, Darwin the other half. Poly sci 101 should concentrate on Freud and Darwin. Like with all great ideas – except quantum mechnics – their thinking comes across as simple. True, but it’s not easy. I got a cat, named Fiasco. It was chasing a giant moth last night. The moth flew into my wastebasket, The cat dove in after, burrowing deeper and deeper through all the paper. Finally, only Fiasco’s ass stuck above the rim of the bucket.That’s how you have to go after Darwin and Freud.


Pol sci: Jesus!

Dem: Seriously, that’s pretty good. In one of your blogs a while back, you took Freud’s Pleasure Principle to places I never would have anticipated.

Pol sci: How ’bout this for a grand pronouncement? “Politics in its deep structure is always a battle between Freud’s Body Ego and Darwin’s Moral Sense?”

Dem: Comes trippingly off the tongue.

Pol sci: I have to check this out with the molecular biologists, but I think a 50-50 split is the result of random distribution.

Dem: I am 50% my father’s DNA. Politically, I must have gotten my  genes from Tiera del Fuego. My life with my dad was very strange. He was a polymath. We talked about astronomy discovering that the Milky Way is just one of who knows how many galaxies. This was back in the 30’s. He went to the Academy of Pope Pius the Tenth in New York City. He learned Gregorian Chant. Together we “pointed” the 150 Psalms for correct chanting. But when the conversation turned to Nixon, I went visceral, My bowels went into an uproar. Nothing’s changed. Every time I hear Paul Ryan, or that meanest man in the world, John Boehner, I feel like I’m coming down with ulcerative colitis. Ask Falstaff if I’m supposed to honor those supreme assholes.

Pol sci: I’ll report  back tomorrow when we have fresh space.