Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Party Discipline vs. Representation

Just watched a program on KOCE-TV (Inside OC with Rick Reiff). Reiff interviewed a partisan named Michael Schroeder who said he tried to convince the California Republican Party to retract its endorsement of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Asked why, he said, "He (Schwarzenegger) veers wildly from the far left to the far right." Reiff asked, "Doesn't that make him a moderate?" Schroeder responded, "That doesn't make him moderate; it just makes him erratic."

In the partisan's mind, anything that deviates from the party line is unacceptable. That means, to the partisan, that there are only two visions -- black and white -- despite the complexity of our world. Quite often in general elections, you hear the candidates mouth this view as they move further away from each other to "give voters a clear choice." No wonder so many people retreat from participating in politics.

If you believe, for instance, 1) keeping abortion legal but trying to reduce abortions to zero in every way possible, 2) the Iraq War was justified and the only mistake made was the low-balling of how difficult the effort would be, 3) gun ownership should be protected but reasonable limits are OK, 4) electricity should be provided by government alone because a marketplace for it is impossible to adequately regulate, and so on ... there is no party for you.

And according to Michael Schroeder, you're some kind of nitwit without a rudder.

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