PostHeaderIcon Thinking About Political Partisanship

As our media constantly assure us, political partisanship in our nation becomes ever more extreme and, often, more viscous with each election campaign. One has only to watch a few political advertisements to realize that this is very true.

The question is why?

That same media supposedly has studied the issue and, although it can make some suggestions, usually somewhat misplaced, they seem not to understand the why of it. Despite all the half-baked guesses coming from the media, the issue of political partisanship seems to me to have a much simpler and more obvious answer than any other issue I have mused over in this space.

It is to me an obvious fact that the more valuable the “prize” in any contest, the harder the contestants will try to win that “prize”. There can be no question that the “prize” in any political contest is power. Certainly, at the elementary level, the “prize” would seem to be the capture of a particular office or position. However, it is the power inherent in that office or position that establishes its value.

So, what has this to do with the extremity and viciousness of political partisanship? Simply this… the greater the size and scope of any level of government, the greater the power (value) of each of its offices and positions. As the power of a government grows, the power of its elements grow in kind, ergo, the value of these elements grows apace – or even exponentially.

This is easily seen in history in conjunction with absolute monarchies or dictatorships where murder and war are regular events involved in capturing one of these offices.

Simple conclusion: if we want less political partisanship and all the undesirable things that entails, we must significantly decrease the size and scope of the various levels of our government. If government were forced back into the bounds established by our Constitution, the primary attraction of public office would be public service rather than personal power and self aggrandizement.

Indeed, it is amazing just how many of our current woes could be reduced, if not eliminated, by that simple expedient. Yet we move in the opposite direction.

Why? Because too many of us are simply ignorant fools. An that ignorance is by our own choice.

Oh – as to why the media seem unable to grasp the simple truth that ever bigger government is ever worse government? Simple. They like big government (ignorant fools again).

Think about it.

Troy L Robinson

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