Kennon-Green & Co. Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Wealth Management, Global Value Investing

Horseshoe Political Theory

Horseshoe Political Theory states that extremist do not fall along the opposite ends of a political spectrum, but rather occupy a space very close to each other like ends of a horseshoe.

Those who talk about “the left” or “right right” when it comes to politics or political theory are often missing a very important point.  The best illustration comes from horseshoe political theory, which states that opposing sides of an issue are more like the ends of a horseshoe.  In other words, their belief in the right to force their will on the populace is just as strong with the only difference being the specific beliefs they are espousing.  Instead of being complete opposites on a spectrum, they sit side by side.

To put it in today’s vernacular by using a modern debate, the horseshoe theory of politics maintains that Pat Robertson arguing secular gay men and women don’t have the right to get married and pass on property or visit each other in the hospital is no different than Muslim clerics demanding that women wear burqa or face punishment.  They are both demanding that society adhere to their individual beliefs about what is right for their own lives. Most people with a shred of intelligence instinctively know that they are the same side of the Janus coin, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum.  The truly idiotic (and indefensible) gem is the man or woman who manages to support one and oppose the other, too dense to understand that he is no different than the “barbaric nutcases” on the other side of the world that baffle him as he struggles to understand why they can’t see his way of thinking.

My political leanings are more libertarian.  Although I am a Christian, and I am fiscally conservative, I believe that a man or woman has the right to live their life they way they wish, as long as they do not impose on the rights of others, and the government should get the hell out of their bedrooms and pocketbooks.  The idea of legislating morality seems patently absurd to me.  If that precedent is set, the private lives of individual citizens are threatened by the ever-shifting whims of an unstable majority.

The move toward social justice and individual freedom in the United States is now unstoppable.  As rational, highly educated, wealthy people, our job is to do everything in our power to make sure the outliers – the ends of the horseshoe – continue to rage against the wind and that society as a whole embraces a prudent non-emotional value system that encourages individual responsibility.