For the left, political objectives relate to policy ends. We want to expand access to quality health care. We want to lower carbon emissions to combat global warming. We want to reform the lending process for student loans so more young people can afford to go to college. We want to make public investments to create jobs. There are competing ways to get to where progressives want to go, but the focus is on the policy achievement.
What conservatives often find confusing is that the liberal worldview is not about necessarily increasing the size of government or raising taxes; those mechanisms are only valuable insofar as they reach a desired end-point. Whether the government increases or shrinks in the process is largely irrelevant.
For the right, it’s backwards — the ideological goal is the achievement.
I have a different view. Both sides are trying to make the world a better place and disagree on how to get there. Seeing yourself as trying to make the world a better place and seeing your ideological opponents as robotic ideologues is a great example of confirmation bias.
Krugman and his ideological supporters have yet to respond to my more detailed critique.