Party loyalty trumping logic

Both ends of the political spectrum should tone down their hypocrisy.

Every four years, the majority of Americans — both Democrats and Republicans — show their most unflattering side when election time comes. The constant mudslinging, stubbornness and hypocrisy based in resentment rather than reason on both ends of the political spectrum has continued to make U.S. politics unpleasant.

There’s no reason to blindly follow a candidate because they represent a certain party — it’s a shortcut for critical thinking. The extreme party loyalty, which both sides are guilty of, ends up making individuals become hypocritical, blind and simply rude to half of the country. This young election year has already shown the ugly sides of both conservatives and liberals.

Glenn Greenwald highlighted an example of this lack of reason in a Salon column this week called “Repulsive progressive hypocrisy.” Liberal Democrats, who fought against George W. Bush’s anti-terrorism policies, now support the use of drones at a rate of 77 percent, and even 53 percent now support keeping Guantanamo Bay open — clearly because now President Barack Obama is making the call instead of Bush.

Conservatives are guilty of the same thing. They did not protest when a president with their party label massively increased the national deficit but now find it to be a pressing concern. And almost all Republicans who supported an individual mandate for health insurance in the 1990s are now strongly against it.

It’s this type of extreme party affiliation driven by partisan hate for the opposing party that is making the U.S. a difficult place. During this election year, take the time to fully research all the candidates and issues, not just your party, and be respectful to those who don’t fully agree with you.