Home > History > In American politics partisanship has replaced thinking.

In American politics partisanship has replaced thinking.

I had a conversation with one of my students yesterday who was baiting me to reveal my “politics” because he can’t figure it out. My conservative students think I’m a liberal idiot and my liberal students think I’m a conservative kook. (Seriously I’ve had students complain to the administration that I am too liberal AND too conservative). Unlike many of my colleagues my strategy is not to teach them *what* to think but to teach them *how* to think. In American politics partisanship has replaced thinking. Rather than spending the time and effort required to think through the issues we put a check mark next to our name “liberal” or “conservative” and think we’ve done our patriotic duty, then order another double double. Consider the words of Jefferson in his first inaugural address, where he highlights the importance of an educated and engaged electorate:

[E]very difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

HTML Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com