"... Sooner or later Holytail [marijuana-growing area in Vineland County] was due for the full treatment [from the federal marijuana eradicators of CAMP], from which it would emerge, like most of the old Emerald Triangle, pacified territory -- reclaimed by the enemy for a timeless, defectively imagined future of zero-tolerance drug-free Americans all pulling their weight and all locked in to the official economy, inoffensive music, endless family specials on the Tube, church all week long, and, on special days, for extra-good behavior, maybe a cookie."
The passage published in 1990 up above was one of the last I read on the train from work this evening. And while I wasn't going to write at all about Sarah Palin's July 3rd resignation (feeling that commenting on Palin, Sanford, Ensign, Boehner, Cheney, and all the other Republicans right now is like piling insults on the mentally challenged), I couldn't help thinking that this paragraph pointed out a key difference between liberals and conservatives. That picture of church-going Tube-watching Stepford families is a dystopic nightmare in Pynchon's universe, and in mine, but I can't help thinking that it's Sarah Palin's and Dick Cheney's dream, and even the dream of those like Sanford and Ensign who have recently slipped from their ideal straight and narrow and are now praying to regain their footing on that correct path with the promise, after confessing their "sins" to the world, of "maybe a cookie."--Thomas Pynchon, Vineland, pp.221-222
These are not views of the world that are ever going to be fundamentally reconciled by political compromises (or by any political means). Like it or not, there will always be people who feel they know the one correct way for all of us to behave (even when they don't behave that way themselves).