Arguing for the sake of partisanship?
First I apologize for the length….I was sitting down last week re-reading through some of the comments that I have received and I got to one that really got me thinking. @Bri_L had asked me a question. Do you think we are at a time in history where it is no longer useful to use labels like socialism, democracy, etc?
In George Washington’s fairwell address he warned us that partisanship would tear the country apart,
”The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”
George Washington warned us that partisanship would spread antiparty sentiments based on particular party ideologies and that it would be more difficult to reach agreements on actions to promote the public good. Ironically however, disputes over political issues during Washington’s adminstration led the US to the formation of political parties.
I guess my question really lies within the purpose of political parties and there motivations? The 2 major political parties today (democrats and republicans) seem to make up for about 90% of the population (give or take). Their ideologies are starkly contrasted, and in fact I’m not sure they agree on a single ideology? What this leads me to believe, is that each group tends to want partisanship strictly for the sake of partisanship. The problem is that sometimes there are definitive right answers and wrong answers, and in today’s political landscape, often those right answers can be found somewhere in between two polarized sides. With two huge political parties driven partially by the media and their relentless ongoing need for dramatic manifestations it’s no wonder politics remain extremely divisive.
IMO, the first step to putting things in the right perspective is understanding that there are such things as right answers and wrong answers. They are usually complex, and there are multiple examples of each for any situation, but at the end of the day we have to come to the understanding that results can prove or disprove a theory, and that a theory should not be maintained just for the mere sake of argument. I think viewing ideology as a rule of construction rather than divisiveness allows us to talk about the same thing, rather than argue, and thereby to arrive at solutions that, to the extent possible, are tailored to advance one or more core principles without hurting other core principles.
Do you think it’s time to eliminate political labels as they seem to drive significant distractions from urgent issues that need action, when both sides will continue to simply argue for the sake of partisanship?