In “The Five Worldviews That Define American Politics,” Michael Lind constructs a powerful conceptual framework in order to explain the trenchant, abiding political disagreements among Americans. The reason that you and I can’t see eye-to-eye is not that we disagree about the facts on the ground; it is that we begin from entirely different first principles and arrive at entirely different outlooks and conclusions. (Note: Talk of worldview returns us to the important work of 19th C. German historians on Weltanschauung and, earlier still, to Kantian idealism.)
Suppose that Lind is correct. What would be involved in the art of political persuasion? Shall we hope for “contingent overlaps” between my worldview and yours, forging possible alliances that way? Or do I seek to show, by means of internal critique, that your worldview does not match up with political reality? Or, together, do we seek to promote some common vision, some supersession of my worldview and yours?