Miniblog #255: Why I’m Suspicious Toward All Political Partisans & Ideologues
If, during the course of a conversation, someone readily and/or enthusiastically identifies himself or herself as a Democrat, I immediately become suspicious. It suggests the term is more a source of identity than a description, more a noun than an adjective. I cannot help but think, ‘This is not a person I trust to have a principled commitment to truth above all else.’ The same holds true of Republican, third-party affiliation, or even political-economic philosophies such as capitalist, socialist, or libertarian. Yes, I’m aware of the implications. This means I’m suspicious of an awful lot of people. I am. To my mind loyalty is a vice rather than a virtue, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the political sphere. Let’s be honest. Is it not self-evident truth that party loyalty tends to breed intellectual dishonesty and privileges competition over rhetorical charity? Show me a man who’s an ardent supporter of a party and I’ll show you a man who’s loathe to admit the validity of any insights or criticisms by his opponents. Such a person is not to be trusted implicitly. Think I’m being being a tad bit extreme and need to reel it in a bit? I’d only respond that I stand in the company of no less than George Washington, who used his farewell speech to, among other things, warn against the party system. He too saw its immense dangers. As far as I’m concerned, loyalty to a political party or ideology is a recipe for disaster.