Partisan Litmus Tests Reinforce the Very Culture They Attempt to Undermine

The contemporary political era is one in which the tired old cliché “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” has become a guiding maxim. If the populace — acting in concert as one united entity — comes to a consensus over the unacceptability of an issue, failure by individual politicians to adequately demonstrate the appropriate level of consternation at the outrage du jour becomes tantamount to that individual being complicit with the offending actor. This culture has come…

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The problem with vote-shaming elected officials

Anytime an office-holding politician expresses doubt in some other member of their party or an individual seeking to become a member of the party, the floodgates of rationalism instantly crumble and a deluge of outrage pours forth. In some regards, this is understandable. Party officials do cede some of their individual autonomy when they gain office as their power is contingent on the party’s resources and credibility with its constituents; it is only fair that,…

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