Principles, not Parties

So often these days, politics seems a war between people, personalities, and parties, rather than a debate on principles and policies. We see those on the right and the left trash their opponents simply for disagreeing, instead of trying to explain why their ideas are better.

This personality war is most evident between the two parties. The Democratic Party and its members are extreme perpetrators here, with their baseless calls for impeachment and radical opposition to President Trump. Perhaps more puzzling is that even when Trump shows an openness to working with the Democrats on their terms (see healthcare), the leftists still vehemently oppose him just for being a Republican president.

Of course, there is no shortage of petty name-calling and shallow squabbling from the GOP side either. Take, for instance, the President’s branding of his enemies with insulting names (e.g. Crooked Hillary), and other conservatives’ sometimes hateful language about President Obama and Democrats in general.

Another manifestation of personality politics is what could be called the “do-no-wrong syndrome.” This describes when people are so obsessed with a person or party that that individual or entity can do no wrong. For instance, a person might support a candidate or a party because they agree on certain issues. When that person or party betrays those principles, a reasonable thinker would call them out for it. However, people tend to change their personal views or convictions when their favorite party or politician changes theirs.

This must stop. The petty, non-policy disagreements between the two parties must cease, and the cult-like admiration of politicians must end. We need our public officials to place promise-keeping over partisanship, and our voters to place principles over personalities.

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