Ensuring high quality politics is a public concern of the first order. Everyone, especially those with partisan leanings, is called upon to look for and acknowledge common ground in the political community where it is warranted. Resisting the bad habits of partisanship is one of the great merits in those actively participating in politics. With her various current initiatives and throughout her political career, Senator Laura Ebke figures as a protagonist of high quality politics, as the below observations confirm.
Writes Vic Berardelli in an article worth reading:
Some months ago I wrote about the experience of Nebraska State Sen. Laura Ebke, who is a Republican activist in private life but had to run without a party label on the ballot and serves in a legislature without political party caucus. Without party discipline, she said, lawmaking is accomplished by coalitions around specific issues instead of a party line.
Cato Institute Vice President Gene Healy demonstrated clearly in a recent essay how clear thinking on specific issues gets skewed by the lens of party affiliation, which fails to discern even basic facts.
“Alas, political tribalism warps people’s perceptions of basic reality, convincing partisans they’re entitled to their own facts. That’s not new, nor is it limited to one side of the political spectrum,” he wrote.
Healy gave a striking example: In a 1988 survey, more than half of self-identified “strong Democrats” believed that inflation had increased under Republican President Ronald Reagan when, in fact, it had actually come down by 10 percent.
In a 1996 survey half of the self-identified “strong Republicans” believed that Democrat President Bill Clinton had increased the deficit, although it actually had dropped during his terms in office.
Knee-jerk partisanship blinded the respondents to the facts.
“In the battle between facts and partisanship, partisanship always wins,” noted Massachusetts Institute of Technology political science professor Adam J. Berinsky.
We see this in the news all the time. Partisan blinkers prevent real negotiations based on a common set of facts in both Washington and Augusta. Often, the political affiliation of the author automatically dooms a bill to the scrapheap without any discourse or investigation.
The problem is exacerbated when society is not exposed to the same set of facts from which to apply their personal approach.
Make sure to read the entire article.