[WATCH] To End World Poverty, We Need Democrats and Republicans
Imagine a world without poverty. Isn't that a worthy enough goal to cause Republicans to team up with Democrats and liberals to join conservatives? Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America, urges bipartisan agreement between conservatives and liberals, on the basis that liberals are right to focus on poverty and conservatives are also right in presenting the best way to fight poverty -- free market capitalism.
Brooks calls for America to get over its political polarization. He lays out the reasons for it in concrete terms -- liberals and conservatives just don't trust each other. This is "political motive asymmetry":
That's what psychologists call the phenomenon of assuming that your ideology is based in love but your opponents' ideology is based in hate. It's common in world conflict. You expect to see this between Palestinians and Israelis, for example. ... In America today, a majority of Republicans and Democrats suffer from political motive asymmetry. A majority of people in our country today who are politically active believe that they are motivated by love but the other side is motivated by hate.
Looking at today's fracas on college campuses, it's hard to disagree with this analysis. Both liberals and conservatives sense that the other side is out to get them, but the real reason for passionate disagreement is more often a focus on ideology. Brooks acknowledges the differences, and warns against minimizing them. Citing psychology professor Jonathan Haidt, Brooks explains that "liberals care about poverty 59 percent more than they care about economic liberty," while "conservatives care about economic liberty 28 percent more than they care about poverty."
Next Page: How We Get Republicans and Democrats to Agree -- Poverty And Free Markets