The Dangers of Partisanship

 

Am I Republican or a Democrat? Does it really matter? Do you really even care?

I have to be honest. Your party affiliation matters naught to me. I’m more interested in your emotional IQ.

What the hell does that have to do with politics?

Because if you’re well adjusted and not emotionally invested in only defending your party’s side of things, I could probably have a pretty intelligent discussion with you.

The more informed you are, the less arrogant and aggressive you are. Nelson Mandela

That’s one of the dangers of partisanship: people feel the need to be “right” and can’t own up to when they’re “wrong.”

And it’s not even that anyone is “wrong,” per se. We all have different needs and wants. Just as you don’t like people treading on truths you hold dear, neither does someone who shares an opposing view from yours.

That’s what’s been so dangerous about Donald Trump. He’s promoting the dark side of partisanship instead of being a real leader and trying to unite all sides. Democrats might as well be in the same class as the illegal aliens he wants to build a wall to keep out of America. They don’t think the same as he does, so they’re evil.

Oh boy. That’s giving the Golden Ticket of Hatred to every card-carrying Republican frothing to see the Democratic party go down in flames.

Which is so sad. It’s sad that the respect is gone. It’s Us vs. Them, pick your side and your weapon and come out swinging.

I get wanting to be part of a “tribe.” To fit in. To relate with like-minded people.

But that’s another danger of partisanship: the danger of shutting yourself off from reality (which is a world where not everyone thinks alike or has the same needs) and clinging to only one party’s ideology.

Which is exactly what’s happening now: shutdowns and finger pointing.

So I’ll tell it to you like it is: I probably lean more Democratic. Am I a staunch Democrat? Do I always vote along party lines?

I would say the majority of the time I do, but not always. I was all set to cast my vote for John McCain until he named Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008. Don’t have any respect for that lady. But Senator McCain? He’s pretty sensible. I’ve always respected him.

That’s what I consider myself now. Not a Republican. Not a Democrat. Not a Libertarian. Not an Independent.

I. Am. A. Sensible.

I want to weigh the evidence. I want to make up my own mind about issues and candidates. I don’t want to vote for a label…or against one.

I don’t know which party is more to blame for this shut down. The President would have you believe the Democrats, but it takes two to tango.

Also, there’s no fake news about the fact that Republicans rule both houses. So how the heck is a shut down even possible at all?

I do know that five years ago the Republicans were the ones being blamed for forcing a shut down. If somehow the blame fell squarely on the Dems shoulders for this one, and it was some kind of retaliation to make a point for last time, I’d be very disappointed. That’s not very sensible at all.

And while we’re on the subject of sensibility, let’s talk about Bengazi. Repubs were trying to lynch Hillary over that. Yet, Trump possibly colluding with Russia to rig and win an election? “Eh. No big deal.”

If you’re reading this and are a Republican and deny that if the shoes were reversed, if this was any Democratic president facing the same issues, and you wouldn’t be up in arms about it, I’m here to tell you you’re a bold-faced lying hypocrite.

That’s the other danger of partisanship: the hypocrisy.

No one party is right. No one party is wrong. One isn’t better than the other. One party’s ideologies may work better for you than an other, but we really need to get back to the days when we could appreciate others differences rather than disparaging each other because of them.

Because we do live in the United States of America, folks. U-N-I-T-E-D. Not divided.

All this bickering isn’t getting us anywhere. Let’s try something new.

Listening. Empathy. Compassion. Let’s see where that gets us.

Finding differences is easy. But we need to work harder to find the commonalities. From that we can build a bridge over the differences.

Easy? Of course not!

Worth it? Well, if you’d rather have people spitting at each other instead of repairing riffs, the government shutting down, anger and hate outweighing respect, then, no. For you it’s not worth it.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

What dangers of partisanship do you see?
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