“The Virtue of Partisanship”
JA Davis at RedState has a thought provoking post that both champions partisanship and refers to our own RI Senate Race.
How many times have you heard someone say they were “independent” and voted “on the issues” or “for the person?” Doesn’t it always seem like those people have a very uppity attitude about their enlightened and pensive political choices? I assert that they are neither wise nor admirable.
Reflexive partisanship is always cast as the villian in our political stories and it shouldn’t be. Humans are unique, thinking creatures that like to associate with other like-minded individuals. However, if everyone demanded strict compliance to their own personal beliefs by their representatives, there would be no effective government possible. This seems to be what independents believe. Because no party has a platform that corresponds perfectly to their unique opinions, there is nothing to do but chose between the lesser of two evils or sit on the sidelines and boo.
I think those independents have trouble prioritizing and compromising their opinions accordingly. For example, an independent who is pro-life would never vote for Lincoln Chafee, but a pro-life Republican could do so in good conscious because he knows Sen. Chafee’s presence protects the GOP majority in the Senate, which in turn, advances the pro-life cause because most Republican senators are pro-life. The partisan Republican can feel a greater sense of accomplishment from voting because they are supporting their team and their own personal beliefs as well. This promotes greater civic involvement and a more vibrant body politic, whereas for an independent who votes according to their own personal ideology, voting will always be a torturous exercise in blasphemy and betrayal.
Davis has more thoughts on the role of ideology in politics which are worth reading, too.