Partisanship is defined as - one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance. With synonyms including – Bias, Discrimination and Factionalism.
With a reality of – it’s literally destroying America. Yes, “literally”! Because when we are stupid enough to be Divided, to be Conquered - then we are not United enough to take a stand against real, literal, threats to our Country. Toxic Food, Water and Air. Unnecessary Foreign Conflicts. Failing Infrastructure that has been coasting and crumbling by with a “D” Grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers! The selling out of our democracy that has turned our Democratic Republic into an Oligarchy. These are literal threats that cost lives, and will be ever worse for our decedents.
Maybe a majority can still agree the George Washington could be a good role model here? (With the one huge caveat, that he was a slaveholder that helped pen the words “All Men Are Created Equal”) Washington single handedly saved the Revolution from implosion. Later, he unprecedentedly stepped down from power. Well, he also warned the American people against the negative impact that opposing political parties could have on the country. During his presidency he witnessed the rise of the Democratic-Republican party in opposition to the Federalists and worried that future political squabbles would undermine the concept of popular sovereignty in the United States.
When George Washington became President in 1789, there were no political parties. Political parties first emerged during Washington’s first term in office with Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Party in 1791 and in the following year, the formation of the Anti-Federalist Party or Democratic-Republicans under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson.
Washington’s quoted in his Farewell Address, Saturday, September 17, 1796
- "However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
So that is some historical perspective. But we all know habits are hard to break. Especially those we might not even know we have. Allow me to introduce some practical considerations and some Science.
noun: confirmation bias
- the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories.
Practical – It is my contention that we are stunting our education by dismissing opposing views. Try to remember a time when you got new information and changed your mind. You are now a smarter better person for it. Facebook, and other sights, gear their newsfeeds to how you already think. That’s stupid and dangerous. I have more than one fb “friend” who disagrees with me. Actually, since I’m an Independent Moderate, I have people Left and Right who disagree with me. I never unfriend them. My views are thought out well enough to defend, and I’m open minded enough to change my mind. I don’t say be like me, but in this case… YES, we should all do that!
Wake up! Those in power want us divided! –
Maybe just knowing that those who want to turn you into a raving Partisan, don’t care about you at all. They don’t hate their opponents either. They have one master. Greed for Power. Their doctor bills are paid for by the government, they don’t drink poison water, they don’t get screwed over by banks, they are twisted together with the banktsers! Their kids don’t go off to die in foreign conflicts. They gerrymander districts, suppress citizens votes and sell their own votes. And when they leave office they have million dollar lobbying jobs waiting for them.
They fear one and ONLY one thing. That Americans will Unite, Vote, and Vote for their own Self-Interest. Conquer and Divide is working too well today. And always has. Dived us by race, tell us Unions are bad – Are you a White guy being screwed by power? (Don’t think Students and Sick People should be profited from? Angry that wages stopped following productivity 30 years ago) Don’t rise up, be content that you are better than the Black man. Black people still getting screwed over? (“Privatized Prison Complex” / “Militarized Police”) You’re better off than the China man. We can all be afraid of the Brown people and that endless “war on terror” that WE created and continue to grow with every foreign policy fiasco. That’s a great way to control us… with Fear. (And profit the “Military Industrial Complex”) An endless war that will never end – that should be handled as a Police Action / Special Forces/ Arab League… NOT us.
Attacked by Saudi Arabia on 9-11 but Bush invaded Iraq? Trump made a $110 Billion Dollar Arms Deal with them and they are left out of his “Travel Ban”. Even as they continue to spread and export terrorism with their radical Muslim teaching of Wahhabism. - Is the Hypocrisy of BOTH Parties not enough to unite us?
Maybe we need a “2nd Bill of Right”? Maybe “Winner Takes All” needs to be changed to the more democratic “Proportional Representative Government”? – Just one of the many ideas we can see working elsewhere in other countries, saving money, saving lives. Like Drug War, Prison, Health and Education Reforms. Ideas other countries got from our early freedoms, but now ignored by us. As we bicker with each other. Our petty disagreements consume and distract us as we get screwed at every turn.
They tell us how unregulated industry is good – The “free market” will decide. (as if generations of citizens being killed with toxins can be remedied after the damage is done, if its ever even detected at all?)
Again, ALL our ills can be traced to ONE thing- GREED. I could throw out names of rulings that are killing us or being ignored, thereby killing us. Citizen United Supreme Court Rulings allowing Secret Super PAC Money to influence elections. With No Election Finance Reforms. Wall Street and Environmental Reforms being ignored or repealed.
And one that gets me – MONOPOLIES! Yes, it effects our internet, phones, sports, cable and more, but every concert season I see the “Sherman Antitrust Act” ignored enough to allow the Monopoly of “Ticket Master / Live Nation” to charge me insane fees. $51 internet fee to print my own ticket, convenience fees, venue fees, fees to pick up the tickets myself at Will Call. Is that not something we could all rally together over?
IF you still believe in Science? Science too has fallen victim to partisanship, but there have some fascinating discoveries recently.
Such as, research showing when a person is exposed to foul smells they tend to lean more “conservative” on the test. Brainwaves of partisans, and more have been studied. Below are a few.
If you find the science a bore, don’t tune out – skip down to read some brilliant, less boring, insight from George Carlin at the bottom -
In a study published in the Journal of Current Biology, Darren Schreiber, a political neuroscientist at the University of Exeter, with colleagues at the University of California Santa Barbara observed the brain scans of 82 people participating in risky gambling. Holding out for more money increased the possibility of rewards, but also the possible losses. They observed that when Republicans took the exact same gambling risks, they were activating different parts of the brain than Democrats. Republicans were using the right amygdala, the center of the brain’s threat response (fight-or-flight system). This part of the brain is important for processing fear, risk, and reward. In contrast, Democrats showed greater activation in the left insula, involved in processing emotions and self, and social, awareness. This region of the brain has the capacity to understand what others might think and feel. Amazingly, the study accurately predicted 82.9% of the participants’ political party choices. This is considerably better than the conventional method of basing predictions on political affiliation of their parents (70%).
Schreiber concluded that not only does having a particular brain influence your political views, but also having a political view influences and changes your brain. Recent research from the University of Carolina concluded that Democrats and Republicans are not wired the same. Scientists found more neural activity in areas of the brain believed to be associated with broad social connectedness in Democrats (friends the world at large), and more open to creativity and new experiences. Republicans had more active areas linked with tight social connectedness (family, country), the importance of individuality, autonomy, and the need for order in their lives. This aligns with previous studies that suggest that Democrats tend to think more globally on issues and Republicans see things through a more American filter. These findings also countered previous findings suggesting that Democrats were more empathic. It is just that Republicans are more likely to focus their empathy on family and people they know.
The author of the study, Roger Newman-Norland, believes it is helpful for people with opposing personalities and core beliefs to understand why they don’t think alike. Brain differences can be a result of genetics, experiences, or a combination of both.
Everybody knows that our political views can sometimes get in the way of thinking clearly. But perhaps we don’t realize how bad the problem actually is. Our political passions can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. More specifically, the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.
The Study by Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues, has an ingenious design. At the outset, 1,111 study participants were asked about their political views and also asked a series of questions designed to gauge their “numeracy”, that is, their mathematical reasoning ability. Participants were then asked to solve a fairly difficult problem that involved interpreting the results of a (fake) scientific study. But here was the trick: While the fake study data that they were supposed to assess remained the same, sometimes the study was described as measuring the effectiveness of a “new cream for treating skin rashes.” But in other cases, the study was described as involving the effectiveness of “a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns in public.”
The result? Survey respondents performed wildly differently on what was in essence the same basic problem, simply depending upon whether they had been told that it involved guns or whether they had been told that it involved a new skin cream. What’s more, it turns out that highly numerate liberals and conservatives were even more—not less—susceptible to letting politics skew their reasoning than were those with less mathematical ability.
We are “hard wired: to be on a side. But we can still overcome that, and be open to good ideas from all sides.
Maybe the best idea – Unite! Question Authority! Insist on better! The attainable betterment for all! Things way more improbable have been done before. Done by Americans and often started by just one unruly malcontent!
GEORGE CARLIN – “The American Dream”
“They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying -- lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want -- they want MORE for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They DON'T want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that, that doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting FUCKED by system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin' years ago. They don't want that.
You know what they want? They want OBEDIENT WORKERS. - People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passably accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.
And now they're comin' for your SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY. They want your fuckin' retirement money. They want it BACK. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it ALL from you sooner or later -- 'cuz they OWN this fuckin' place. It's a big CLUB. And YOU AIN'T IN IT! - You and I are NOT IN the big club. By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long, beating you over the in their media telling you what to believe -- what to think -- and what to buy. The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care.
Good honest hard-workin people -- white collar, blue collar -- doesn't matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-workin people CONTINUE -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these RICH COCKSUCKERS who don't GIVE a fuck about them. They don't give a fuck about you, they don't GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU. T HEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU -- AT ALL. AT ALL. AT ALL. You know? And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care ... that's what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes every day. Because the owners of this country know the truth -- it's called the American Dream ... 'cuz you have to be asleep to believe it. –
- George Carlin