The debate on immigration runs into a roadblock. Left and right see each other as dumb or racist. But why? Fundamentally, it comes down to perception. How do they perceive refugees? What topics do they connect to refugees?
The left-wing sees refugees as helpless. They have pictures of women and children escaping war and near-certain death. They see these women, afraid, running through the bullets, risking everything to reach safety. Then, they picture themselves in that situation. They wonder what it’d be like to live in a city that gets bombed daily, when you hear machine-gun fire on your way to the grocery store. And they think, “Well, I’d really like someone to help me when I’m in that situation.” And so they open their borders to give these people refuge. The left-wing thinks only about others, and is thereby completely selfless.
The right-wing pictures young men of fighting age. They think about the economic stability of the nation when it is overrun with poorly educated masses that are unlikely to contribute to the federal budget. Instead, they are the primary cause of greater budget deficits. Moreover, they fear the crime that these migrants bring. Statistically, migrants from the Middle East and Africa do increase crime. The right-wing is selfish in that it thinks in terms of their own well-being first.
Furthermore, the right, rightfully, downplays the actual risk that these refugees are exposed to. There are refugee camps in the region, and other countries to flee to before they reach Germany or Sweden. Yet, they don’t stay there, they keep going. The reason is not safety, but overall quality of life. A quality of life that is higher than their country ever had during peacetime. So it’s not about safety, it’s about greed.
Selfless or Selfish?
Why is the left so selfless? Why do they not share the fears of the right-wing? One reason could lie in the fact that the left believes the current situation is extremely stable. They do not believe there is an actual threat to their own existence. The left sees the world in terms of stability, this is how the world is and this is how the world will stay. The right recognizes the possibility of change.
Oddly, the leftist view of stability is completely turned around when it comes to global warming. There, they see their own actions as having severe consequences. So the stability view isn’t a fundamental belief or inability to recognize change. Change is simply accepted or rejected based on someone’s pre-existing beliefs.
The Savior Complex
One thing does overlap, and that is the lefts desire to be a savior. They wish to save people from other countries, and they wish to save the planet. They seek to do what is in their world view morally just. Being mostly atheist, the left’s moral compass is directed by the mass media. What is ‘morally just’, is whatever the media tells them is morally just. The right wing tries to be moral in it’s own way, often focusing more on their own family and offspring.
So the left sees refugees as helpless victims, in need of rescue. This is where they can step in and be a hero. They see the climate as something they can control, and they can be a hero for stopping climate change. They are willing to make small sacrifices in their own well-being, in order to be a hero. In order to give meaning to their life.
At this point, it becomes clear that the perception of refugees depends on whether you have meaning in your life, or if you are still looking for meaning. Those that have meaning are not interested in being a savior, but those that are lacking meaning, will eagerly latch onto it. This is their crusade, their ability to redeem their sins. The left seeks redemption. The media tells them this is the way towards it.