I have taken some criticism lately about being excessively partisan and believing that views opposing mine are unequivocally wrong. Personally, I think they should differentiate between partisanship spouted out by Fox News and MSNBC and the partisanship of Will McAvoy in The Newsroom.
Here’s the point: partisanship is not necessarily bad to the extent that it offers substantive reasoning and a healthy dose of logic.
Some believe that I am unfair for not addressing “the other side of the story.” However, does the GOP of today have any justification? Can you think of any sensible American that supports crony capitalism and blatant obstructionism? We don’t negotiate with terrorists like al-Qaeda, so we shouldn’t negotiate with the GOP’s economic terrorism.
I completely agree that the Democrats are inefficient and spineless; however, the GOP is complete trash and stands for NO respectable values; ergo, the Democrats are infinitely better than the Republicans because the GOP has zero usefulness towards the public interest. Until the present GOP Congressmen and its rowdy Tea Party splinter are utterly purged from the political sphere and authoritative center-rights regain control in Washington, it doesn’t make sense to condemn Democrats and let the GOP off the hook. Somebody has to take up the mantle; when even The Economist repeatedly falls into the false equivalency syndrome, the GOP are effectively absolved from full responsibility for all the despicable things that they have done for the past 15 years. Bullshit mountain lives on.
Finally, you might be worried that partisanship risks a degree of populism, perhaps akin to the likes of Paul Krugman. This is a very valid concern (in my eyes, the only valid concern), and something that also makes me concerned.
Here’s what I feel: do you think the dry academic professor can inspire the change in views needed even in the face of overwhelming evidence? Does President Obama generate enthusiasm when he is wordy and flat or when he is making jabs at his opponent? An informed, engaged, and energetic electorate is the other side of the equation, but with our attention spans and utter unwillingness to take the time to understand complex issues, stating the facts in a nonpartisan manner will not attract a whole lot of attention (if they were, then think tanks would have more viewership than cable news). It’s not optimal, and it turns off some people, but it’s one of the few valid options one has to draw attention. If you have better ideas, do let me know.
My overall platform is very liberal. However, my pet issues, restraining corporatism and special interests in government, reflect the radical centrism that The Economist says we so desperately need; this second wave of Progressives is sadly missing from today’s discourse. I am not anti-conservative: I respect the increasingly rare center-right that are willing to make meaningful compromises, pursue smart fiscal conservatism, and regulate against negative externalities. This was embodied in the old guard, which included George Romney, Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, and even Richard Nixon. I am against the rabid stupidity that is today’s GOP, and am deeply ashamed at anyone who will vote for 90 percent of the Republican candidates out there.