Politics is all about dividing lines. You win elections by drawing a dividing line that gets you 51 percent of the votes. The British Labour Party won the last three elections in a row on the dividing line of "Labour investment vs. Tory cuts."
A corollary is that if you want to divide the American people then you should call in the politicians. They'll do the job for you better than anyone.
Byron York writes today about a new dividing line. The Democrats are dumping the energy bill in the Senate for an immigration bill. The Obamis think that the only way to get the base out this November is to draw a dividing line on immigration.
President Obama hopes to increase Hispanic voting and fire up the Democratic base to avert potentially disastrous Democratic mid-term losses across the country.
You think? I'd say that they are more likely to fire up the Tea Party base and provoke a wipeout. That's the risk in dividing lines. You may find out that you drew it in the wrong place. After all, Hispanics, like most Democratic voters, are concentrated in a few areas. The ones that aren't concentrated probably aren't as passionate about immigration.
I say good luck to President Obama. He is probably the most divisive president in modern history and he is either going to transform America or he is going to ruin the Democratic Party for a generation.
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds gets to the heart of this in a link to a piece by Francis Cianfrocca on the Tea Party Movement: Cianfrocca writes about the problem of central planning, its misallocation of resources and its magnification of corruption (you think?):
The endpoint of central planning, if not outright failure, is a much deeper and more intractable division of society into haves and have-nots. After promising a better world for everyone, the progressives will end up creating a society that is more polarized than ever.
Let's generalize this a bit. The endpoint of putting anything into the political sector is to divide society. That's what we've done on education, on welfare, on health care. We have encouraged people to compete in the public square for government subsidies on education, on health care, and on welfare. And they do.
If we want to make America a better society, we've got to heal the divisions. That means that we've got to take politics out of as many things as possible. The science is settled on this. Researchers have found that by putting Americans in a room together to solve a problem they will almost always work together and compromise on a deal that gives everyone something of what they want. It's a win-win kind of thing.
But in politics, it's win-lose, and the loser goes away angry, muttering "wait until next time!"
That's the point of limited government. You limit the power of government and you limit the opportunity of politicians to divide us.