'Political Morality' Divides America

Krugman: We can't agree on fundamentals; let's strive to raise the tone
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 14, 2011 1:21 PM CST
In this Thursday, April 15, 2010 photo, Kay Hohler, of West Des Moines, Iowa, sings the national anthem before the start of a tea party rally on the steps of the Iowa Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

(Newser) – Calls for unity are welcome, but it’s time we face facts: America is a country “deeply divided” by “fundamental disagreement about the proper role of government,” writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. The left believes the wealthy should be taxed to help the poor; the right believes taxing “amounts to theft.” The divide in “political morality” has “no middle ground.”

The matter at hand, then, is “what we can agree on given this deep national divide.” In the abortion debate, we’ve agreed that “it’s acceptable to express your opinion,” but not to engage in violence. Let’s apply those rules to the larger question: “Leaders of both parties—or Mr. Obama alone if necessary”—must “declare that both violence and any language hinting at the acceptability of violence are out of bounds. We all want reconciliation, but the road to that goal begins with an agreement that our differences will be settled by the rule of law. ”

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