by Michael Maciel
There is a three-part, divine pattern at play in the two-party system. It’s based on the Holy Trinity, not as a religious symbol but as a Living Symbol.
I will try to explain what I mean by describing it in its ideal form, which is to say “in principle.”
First, there are two sides to politics: conservative and liberal. This is based on temperament, not ideology.
C’s want to preserve the existing order and L’s want to reform it. C’s want strict law and order and L’s want to protect people from the legal system’s impersonal machinations. C’s are for the letter of the law and L’s look for the spirit of the law.
C’s are really good at thinking inside the box. They pretty much invented “the box.”
L’s are WAY better at thinking outside of the box and are thus more innovative.
They say, “We have a better idea,” and the C’s say, “Prove it!”
L’s are better at starting new businesses but C’s are WAY better at running them.
These are just some of the ways C’s and L’s differ. There are always exceptions but I think you’ll find that they will prove the rule.
C’s are more interested in boundaries—boundaries between states, between towns, between countries, along with legal boundaries, such as property lines and public vs. private spaces.
Philosophically, they’re realists, whereas L’s are idealists—C’s prefer what has been proven to work over what “might” work—“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” L’s, on the other hand, think that no matter how well something works now, it can always work better.
Therefore, L’s are WAY more adaptive to change.
But C’s are cautious by nature and know that attempting to change large-scale systems can cause unforeseen negative consequences.
L’s, on the other hand, are WAY better at detecting when systems start to ossify and impede progress.
L’s are WAY better at coming up with new ideas for a better society, whereas C’s are staunch loyalists to tradition.
C’s like to minimize the risks in any new venture, whereas L’s are comfortable with risk—they actively seek it—because they instinctively know that great risks can yield great rewards.
But C’s are WAY better at telling when a bet is too dangerous.
The list goes on and on. Any thoughtful person can readily see that both temperaments are absolutely essential for a society to thrive. But the wise know that they will never agree—on just about anything. It will always be a dynamic relationship, never a peaceful one.
And that’s the way it should be.
The balance should always be lively because a static system will quickly die.
The “Holy Trinity” part of this equation shows up all over the place in our system of government, most conspicuously in our system of checks and balances:
–The Executive Branch
–The Legislative Branch
–The Judicial Branch
Each is designed to check the excesses of the other two.
The act of mediating between two warring parties demands impartiality. Or, shall we say, the best possibility for it.
This is the “three-in-one” spiritual principle as it’s instantiated in our political system. It’s designed to keep power distributed over as wide a base as possible, in order to avoid falling into the chaos of either populism or despotism.
Before our current crisis of extreme political partisanship and cultural polarization, these innate differences in temperament were better understood as the need for a dynamic balance in politics. This is why Democrats and Republicans could fight like hell in Congress and yet still have lunch together.
At times, one side would take the lead and the other would be ready to put on the brakes, but this is not unlike the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body. One speeds up metabolism and the other slows it down.
This is why we say that the Constitution was divinely inspired—Man was created in God’s image and likeness (male AND female created He them).
Our Constitution was written by men (in accordance with the private counsel of their wives, notably Abigail Adams) by imitating the Divine Patterns of Creation. Most of them were Freemasons and some were also Rosicrucians, so they were experts in Divine Principles.
And chief among those principles is the Law of the Triangle—the tripartite nature of relationship in all human interactions, from the personal to the political.
This is the continual balancing act between the rights of the individual and the rights of the state—the family and the community, the community and the state, the state and the federal government.
These entities will always be at odds with each other. Always. There is no utopia wherein this would not be the case. The attempt to eliminate this built-in tension is called “totalizing,” or making everyone the same. But people are different. They have different temperaments and different preferences. A political system that attempts to use a one-size-fits-all model is called “totalitarianism.” It’s been tried a number of times in the 20th Century but it always resulted in the deaths of millions of its own people. Because in order to squeeze a population into a one-size-fits-all system, half of the “all” has to go.
One of the main reasons this country was founded was for the separation of church and state. But the people who came up with the Constitution were not irreligious men and women. They were deeply schooled in Divine Principles. They knew how Creation works. They knew Divine Law.
But they also understood human nature. They weren’t naive. They knew that someone would try to game the system. So they designed it to thwart that oh-so-human tendency. Demagogues and kings were to be intentionally and vigorously excluded from the political process. And the only way to do that was to design it in such a way as to make populist and despotic movements as difficult as possible to gain momentum.
That’s the one thing they could all agree on. In everything else, they fought like cats and dogs!
If you want to know what a return to tribalism (identity politics) would look like, just look at the world. It’s nothing but tribes. And it’s always at war.
Our system of government is a unique and daring attempt at preserving personal liberty while at the same time ensuring public order. And it’s attempting to do this in a pluralistic, multi-ethnic, multi-racial society. The only way it can succeed is if all people, regardless of their tribal identity, can all agree on the plan—the Great American Experiment—with liberty and justice for all.
It’s a work in progress.