But the truth is, Cuomo, himself a Catholic (the right-to-life issue comes quickly to mind), has so absorbed the liberal point of view that he cannot conceive of anyone who favors these issues to any degree as being anything short of extremist.
I once questioned a prominent minister as to whether he viewed himself as liberal, conservative or middle-of-the-road. “Middle-of-the-road, of course,” he replied. “Everyone sees themselves as being middle-of-the-road.”
Liberals, whether in politics or religion, tend to envision life as they want it to be, thus favoring change. They look at the conservative point of view as trying to take a step backward.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are more inclined to view life as it is in reality, thus trying to preserve what is good about the establishment. They see liberalism as trying to destroy it.
While I tend to identify to a greater degree with the latter, liberals don’t have a monopoly on demagoguery. The greatest leaders this nation has had were those who were able to engineer compromise.
Just as east is east and west is west, liberals are liberals and conservatives are conservatives. And never the twain shall meet.
Jim Bailey’s column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.