There seems to be an inordinate amount of emphasis in our current political climate being placed on the activity of over-generalization, i.e. painting with a broad brush. This destructive behavior is found on both the Left and Right sides of the political ideology circle, and it is at the core of the modern Lefts bible, Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals. The most disturbing aspect of this sickness to me is that it appears to have spread among those on the Right at an alarming rate, metastasizing in the current campaign to choose a presidential nominee to represent us this November. I can not help but acknowledge that those who paint with a broad brush have willingly replaced art with artifice.
I have glanced this issue in other blog posts, such as my post of yesterday, Establishment: The New Scarlet Letter. I can not imagine any intellectually honest person refusing to recognize the polarization of our politics, not only inter-Party, but intra-Party. The Broad Brush Syndrome has been applied to every serious issue facing this great country, and even to some inconsequential ones as well. From Muslim immigration to President Obama's birth certificate, one only has to spend 10 minutes on social media to find zealots who proselytize one or another extreme views on myriad political subjects.
The inter-Party polarization is somewhat understandable, although not entirely productive, but the intra-Party polarization is the most severe form of political suicide. Nothing good can be achieved for the people of the United States of America when the political leaders of an ideology are daily painted with a broad brush by the media representatives of that ideology. The Broad Brush Syndrome is illustrated on a daily basis by the falling in and out of political favor simply by a candidate or politician giving support for a point of view that has been defined to be treasonous by the keepers of the faith in talk radio or other media.
The artifice of painting with a broad brush is a necessary function of it, as those afflicted by the Broad Brush Syndrome must engage in a corollary activity, i.e. piling on. Piling on has become the bread and butter of some political pundits, surpassing their primary function of informing intellects, and drifting headlong into shaping opinion. And in an effort to shape others opinions to their own twisted views they must paint with a broad brush and engage in artifice. Which takes the form of committing the sin of omission (ignoring anything good about their intended target), and the sin of commission (deliberately misrepresenting the actions or words of their intended target).
The Broad Brush Syndrome is by far a greater destructive force than any of the issues painted by it. It eats at the very heart of self-government, civil political discourse, and even Liberty itself. As the great writer, producer, and creator Rod Serling once said, "In order for civilization to survive, man must remain civilized." The current state of politics, both on the Left and the Right, has become uncivilized to the detriment of our republic. And the Broad Brush Syndrome is an essential aspect of that downward spiral.