Thursday, January 5, 2012

What is Political Partisanship?

I have to admit that I'm not one to pay much attention to politics. I should be more involved, but I just get so frustrated with the state of our government and the world in general. I believe that there are tons of others out there who feel the same as I do and, if we could just band together, we'd be able to stop some of the bullshit that is going on behind closed doors - and, often, right in front of us!

So, what is political partisanship? I have heard the phrase thrown around enough to have had a good idea, but I needed to know more. This phrase is being used more and more and, with this being an election year, I really need to have a full understanding so I can make some important choices in the coming months. A partisan is someone who fully supports a group's ideals as a whole. So, political partisanship is completely agreeing with everything that the political party you are affiliated with says you should agree with. To me, it's like being a "yes man" (or woman). These people don't stop to think of whether the side of the issue that their party supports is morally (or even humanely) correct. "If the party says so, I agree!" maybe they don't agree, but in order to climb the ladder toward more power, they can say they agree, right?
Photo by: Rennett Stowe

Have you ever had an argument with someone who just, plain refuses to even contemplate what you are saying? Since many of my readers are long-term breastfeeding advocates, let's use that as an example. You've probably been there -  You're at a family function and your 18 month-old comes to you and asks for "milkies". You excuse yourself and nurse her (you can't do it right there because Uncle Bud tries to get an eyeful and Aunt Phoebe tsk-tsks you every 30 seconds.) When you get back to your seat, Aunt phoebe makes a general statement about how all children who are breastfed past 6 months turn out being clingy brats and their teeth rot out of their head by the time their five. You give her some facts from large studies that have concluded that breastfeeding well into the preschool years is actually good for children and then give her some of the health benefits to boot (you did your research yesterday so you'd have fresh facts because you could see the confrontation coming!) Aunt Phoebe won't have a word of it. She starts making up her own "studies" and citing imaginary articles she read in last month's Reader's Digest. No matter what you say, she's got some silly comeback. It's like talking to a brick wall.

Political partisanship is like that. You could tell an incumbent that the Great Lakes are dying and, if nothing is done about it, we'll lose them. But, if his political party thinks that tapping the lakes for bottled water to sell abroad is a good thing, he's not going to listen to one fact that you give him. Now, anyone with half a brain could easily see how this could be detrimental to our own fresh-water resources, not to mention all of the environmental impacts that will spiral out of control and eventually leave us with a few toxic puddles of water. But this guy won't even acknowledge that you might possibly be making an ounce of sense. "Bottling Lake Erie is good! Closed case!"

So, when I saw the opportunity to share the petition campaign below with my readers, I jumped at the chance. The petition is not written in the normal "Stop Doing This" type of language that most petitions are written. This one actually has humor! 

It is basically a petition letter to the American Medical Association (with copies going to the President and Congress) with a plea that they seriously consider labeling "Political Partisanship" a disease. Though the letter has a humorous tone, the content is serious. It describes how, with so much partisanship going on, our government is in a virtual dead-lock and nothing (good or even bad) is getting done. I absolutely love this petition and would be excited to know that other like-minded people will sign it. You can click the link in the widget, below, to read the petition letter and learn more about why this is important. (If, for some reason, the widget is feeling glitchy, here's a direct link: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-disease-of-political-partisansip# )


Don't Just Sit There, Shaking Your Head...
Be the Change!

*I will be compensated for this post. I want you to know that, although there will be a very small payment made to me, I would never post anything that I did not believe in. I think that this petition, and many of the causes on Change.org, is worthy and I would have shared it with others via Facebook and Twitter anyway.*

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