Flipping the Script on Conservatives vs. the Left
Everyone knows that left-wing parties are made up of uncompromising idealists while
we tend to think of right wing people as realists.
Politics is changing though. It has changed a lot. A seismic shift has occurred and the
political establishment is scrambling to draw accurate maps of the new political
One key difference between the Old Politics and the New is that the old folk wisdom
casting right-wingers as practical realists and left-wingers as naive idealists has
reversed itself. Savvy political operatives aside, those in established political bubbles
will take way too long to realize this dynamic has completely flipped, and they’ll be
shocked when they do.
An Idealist is someone who is guided more by ideals than by practical considerations or
facts. A Realist is just the opposite. Let’s take a fun example of an issue where left-
wingers want to deal with an uncomfortable reality, while conservatives are being plain
old naive idealists, putting their principles ahead of the facts.
Here’s a grim reality: we are in the midst of a massive drug crisis.
The solution proposed from the left (and now supported by the smartest people on the
right) is the use of safe injection sites. I won’t get into the benefits and drawbacks of
this harm-reduction approach because the purpose of this post isn’t to convince you that
harm-reduction works (it does) but to show how conservatives get caught up in idealism
while left-wingers are trying to address a fact.
In response to calls for safe injection sites, conservatives argue that drug use is bad
and therefore we shouldn’t support it. Even though many on the left would probably
agree, the left understands something conservatives aren’t seeing through their rose-
The drug crisis is a fact, and one that is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, and
while allowing safe injection sites might be somewhat murky in terms of ethics, it is an
imperfect approach for an imperfect world.
There are many more examples of the left pushing imperfect solutions to uncomfortable
and inconvenient problems while the right cries foul.
Can you think of more examples of conservatives being idealists while the left are