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Random Wisdom

“People prefer society to do their thinking for them – It is easier. It takes away the need to make moral judgements.” — Albert Schweitzer



Partisanship Blog Post October 2006

J. D. Moss

What is most surprising about the congressional page scandal?

Is it Mr. Foley’s sexual e-mails to underage pages? Is it the possibility that the House leadership might have known about these e-mails years ago? Is it that both Republicans and Democrats are using this scandal to attack each other?

 I am upset, yet not surprised, that the partisan fighting is more of a story than the victims. I am appalled that both sides are using this to beat each other up in a fight to win elections. The Republicans are desperately attempting to shift the blame to the Democrats and homosexuals, while the Democrats are working to keep the heat turned up on the GOP. Very few seem generally concerned for the welfare of the pages. Partisanship has now sunk to a new low. Their anger seems self-serving and their disagreements avoid the real issue.

 People disagreeing with one another is unavoidable, indeed it should be welcomed in any society that wishes to have the best opportunity in exploring healthy growth on an individual and social level. Healthy disagreement is called dissent.  Holding a dissenting view always holds open the door for another’s point of view. One may not agree, yet one understands the importance of looking at as many sides of the issue as is possible. Dissent suggests the use of fact, logic, and fairness when exploring the opposite view. Dissent recognizes the potential of finding truth in someone else’s view and acknowledging that truth. Dissent is not partisan.

 Partisanship is not healthy debate. It does not share insights on what others think about important issues. Partisanship does not allow for an opportunity to find real answers to real problems. The Oxford dictionary defines the word partisan as “prejudiced in favor of a particular cause.” This is the attitude that one’s cause is more important than reason, fact or experience. When we allow partisanship to dominate so wholly it becomes fanatical, it eventually leads to unjust and unethical actions.

 The leaders of our government understand ethics and morality, yet believe partisanship is more important. It is too simple a statement to say they want to maintain power or win elections at any cost. These statements may be true; however their actions are based on blind loyalty to their party or career. This loyalty keeps them from openly exploring the issues and without the ability to see issues factually; they make decision based on what preserves the thing they are loyal to. In a sense they are blinded to what would be best for society as a whole. They view anyone who dissents as the enemy, not recognizing others have value and they have flaws.

 The real revelations this week are ones few speak of; partisan politics is destroying the trust Americans place in our government. This goes beyond individual beliefs, political parties or religious views. The corruption of America is a certainty if we cannot set aside the desire to be right over truth, dedication to a party over loyalty to our country, or personal religious piety over national morality.

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