Partyism: The belief that those of the opposite party are not merely incorrect, but are generally bad.  

This is often expressed in sweeping generalizations. The “X” just want to destroy society. The “Y” are all just greedy oppressors. You fill in the variables above. Both have been said about both mainstream American parties.

One would hope that most people are mature enough to realize that there are good and bad people in every group or party. Maturity would tell us that the majority of people in most parties are not intent on evil. Typically, people are drawn to the party that they think will do the most good. If you are afflicted with the bigotry – yes, bigotry – of partyism, then at this point you’re thinking …”But the X really are evil!”. And you will have lots of evidence for your point of view.

Further, partyism allows us to be lazy. “Everything they say is bad, by definition.” It is one thing to believe that someone is incorrect and there is nothing at all wrong with presenting evidence for your point of view. There is nothing bad about explaining why another point of view is not logical or won’t work. That’s helpful in learning as there is a lot of evidence to be considered for the many complex questions facing society.

Additionally, there are some overly selfish and corrupt people involved in party politics. It’s unlikely that this is the majority, hence I reject the illogical prescription of “throw all the bums out”. Additionally, it should be obvious that anyone who gets involved in politics has to have something of a larger-then-normal ego. If I think I’m well suited to take a more prominent leadership position in society than the majority, that is, by definition, a larger ego. Having a larger than normal ego isn’t bad, in itself. Some people are better suited for leadership than most. That’s just a statistical fact. It’s a fact of differential giftings. Some people are smarter than others and have talents and gifts that the majority don’t have. Denying that is delusional. Decrying the unfairness of that statement is to ignore the very laws of nature and math that dictate so much of our universe.

In a recent political science experiment conducted by Standford researchers Shanto Iyengar and Sean Westwood called “Fear And Loathing Across Party Lines: New Evidence on Group Polarization“, the bias of party or group affiliation was noted to be far greater than most of the bigotry that we object to as a society.

David Brooks, of the New York Times, observes;

Politics becomes a marker for basic decency. Those who are not members of the right party are deemed to lack basic compassion, or basic loyalty to country.

His conclusion is one I can endorse;

The personal is not political. If you’re judging a potential daughter-in-law on political grounds, your values are out of whack.

I will add that if you simply follow your chosen political, ideological crowd without question, your intellect is out of whack. If you read other articles here, you will see I come from a particular point of view which I find most logical and strongly believe is supported by the weight of evidence. At the same time, I will not blindly accept  what others who are near my point of view say without question. And I will, and do, differ vociferously where I think the “side” that I identify most with is wrong. Judgments should be made with as much calm and logic as possible. Judgments should be able to be defended with a well reasoned, fact based presentation. If you are not able to do that, then hold your judgments only very loosely. Otherwise, you run the risk of being a partyistic bigot. Certainly not a label I want.