American society has come to prefer empty sound bites over substantive political discourse. Voters are persuaded by puerile rhetoric wrapped in thin, unconsidered speech. Everyone seems to be wrapped in vain trappings. Politicians get a pass because they have learned to shield themselves from hard-hitting questions and news outlets seem more concerned with recording the latest slight.
A deeper disposition lurks in all of this folly, partisanship. Here is a list that may help identify a partisan.
You are not necessarily a partisan if you agree with one of these positions. Your chances of being a partisan increase with every question that applies to you.
1. You agree with all positions taken by your preferred political party
2. You only watch news and reference sources that support your position
3. You only have friends who believe just as you do
4. You always disagree with moderates
5. You don’t have arguments for your positions
6. Your political position changes with your political party
7. You do not know the other side’s position well
8. You prize ideology over evidence on political issues
9. You see the other side as completely irrational
10. You prefer a politician who appeals to emotion over one who proposes strong and nuanced policies
11. You hate consensus building
12. You prefer the success of your party over the well-being of the country
13. You naturally default to sharp hyperbolic language in political discourse
14. You almost always commit the straw man fallacy when presenting the other side’s position
15. You cannot have a civil conversation with a political opponent