Something has been bugging me for a long time. I have only recently been able to put a better name to it. It revolves around partisanship but ties into so many other areas of life, many facets all leading to the decline of civility in the United States. (I can't speak for other countries, but human nature being what it is, I wouldn't be surprised if it is elsehwere too.)
I have come to feel that political discourse in the United States -- most of it -- is fundamentally dishonest. A majority of people appear to decide what they believe and then interpret the facts to support that belief. This kind of thinking allows people to support a two party system where if someone is for gun ownership, they have to be against abortion. If someone supports labor unions, they have to be anti-war. If someone supports the military or police, they have to believe in prayer in school. If someone believes in small government, well, hmm, OK, nevermind. Neither party believes in that any longer. It's absurd. (Don't assume that any of the aforementioned are necessarily my beliefs, some are, some aren't.)
You get my point.
To get to the dishonest part
Rush Limbaugh and cohorts have criticized people who call themselves "moderates," saying that moderates either are Democrats who don't want to admit it, or are people who don't have opinions and will choose to go with the winning side at the last minute. I've called myself a moderate for a long time now, lacking a more accurate term. But "moderate" is a poor term. Sometimes I agree with the Democrats, sometimes with the Republicans, more often with neither because each party is so fond of extremist posturing. It makes me crazy.
I recently figured out a better way to describe my political beliefs. I am a Non-Partisan. That's it. I don't care what is best for this subgroup or that subgroup, this Party or that Party, and I can't stand people who use political power to fill their own pockets in total disregard of what's best for anybody. Partisans argue with the goal of blocking the other side. It's a multi-dimensional chess game where both Parties keep changing the rules to better support whoever has the upper hand today. It's a war over language, over who gets to control the terms of debate.
So very few of them really seem to care what is best for the country let alone the global community. Sure, some do. And some of the Partisans really believe what they say. But many of those people aren't really interested in the facts. So many in political power would rather grandstand than do something that makes a real difference. So many have short term thinking, leaving known disasters festering to be dealt with in the future when they are catastrophic.
I can't stand it. So I hereby fully divorce myself from both Parties -- I have always registered as an independent anyway -- and declare myself a Non-Partisan. I don't care which Party comes up with an idea if it is the right idea. I would rather look at facts than over-simplifications. I am more intested in incremental progress than no progress and moral high grounds. You know, politics is complicated. Real world politics is complicated. None of it is one-dimensional. If only we could find politicians who could live in that world.
If only the voting public would elect such politicians.