Arthur Saganian (letters, March 10) used the hypertypical conservative and liberal mind theses to form an insult to one in order to ennoble the other. He added his personal incoherence to the prejudiced projection, but his stereotypical ontology of these minds has no universality.
Indeed, the insult he provided is universal: to characterize all conservative or liberal minds is to deny them their own uniqueness and their own existence, as if some form of hive mind had subsumed their individual existence. The apology he penned is a deep insult to any mind that can appreciate the utility and beauty of both sides, and the balance achieved if each is utilized to achieve best outcome overall.
It reminds me of the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
Except, “function” is way too meek. Apply each “mind” appropriately, and in an opportune, fair, compassionate, and just way, in a measured, balanced form, and the mind achieved eliminates biased and imbalanced tribal allegiances to become the archetypical American rugged individualist.
The quote changes: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and to leverage them in counterbalance, to thrive.”
You are welcome.