The Charitable View in Partisan Politics
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Type of Work2 pages
Citation of Original PublicationKassner, J.J. (2015, Apr. 23). The Charitable View in Partisan Politics. The Baltimore Sun.
As the 2016 presidential campaign season takes off, we are reminded that politics in the United States is trapped in a cycle of dysfunctional partisanship. And it's our fault. But — before we are caught up in the swirl of television ads, debates and robocalls — there is something we can do about it. Bear with me. You might be asking, "How am I responsible?" Thomas Jefferson once claimed that the "government you elect is the government you deserve." As voters we have rewarded those who righteously offer meat-and-potatoes, partisan platitudes. We seek out intellectual echo-chambers and accuse those with whom we disagree of harboring evil intentions, calling them corrupt, incompetent, ignorant, opportunistic, unpatriotic or just insane. Conservatives accuse liberals of hating American values, and liberals accuse conservatives of hating the poor.