I have never seen such extreme partisanship, such bitter partisanship, and such forgetfulness of the fate of our fathers and of the Constitution. —Robert Byrd
First, I would like you to know that I deplore and despise the labels of partisans. But out of our language bag of restrictions, we often relate to the easiest form of communication, which is to use labels to simply identify a complex concept or tag an individual or group with a two-bit, easy label.
This, I believe, separates us and ideas, rather than unifying and optimizing potentials. In the same way, President George Washington believed that if the union regressed into parties, we would be less inclined to work for the common good, rather than our own self-oriented ends.
I agree with President George Washington. He believed it would hurt the union, and I believe it has too.
So with that explanation of labels and my disdain for them, let me define them at the same time, I hope with the point to demonstrate that we are really best defined and served well when we work together, rather than as partisans.
A conservative, in a general sense, is someone who wants to live by traditions of the past, whether right or wrong, and will go to often unrealistic extremes or far-fetched thinking to achieve their principles, or premises—such as fallaciously suggesting that science cannot prove that the earth has only been here for six thousand years. Sometimes this is, at its very core, born from past cultural and/or religious belief systems, which were construed before we had empirical scientific proofs or some reasonable scientific assumptions. Therefore, the shamans, or spiritual leaders, of the tribes would invent knowledge, based on hope, whim, dreams, and some wisdom, out of a controlling power methodology.
A liberal is someone who is open to almost any form of behavior, sometimes without any evaluation of risk or moral-related bounds. Morals are a touchy issue, as morals should, for me, be solely based on the Golden Rule and to “do no harm” when at all possible. But some liberals exceed this concept with a vengeance, but no more than conservatives, and adhere to their thinking with an angry zeal, which nullifies their principles or premise of open thinking. Certainly on a personal level, many people behave in this manner. Just watch them. Ironically, ego-based foolery too often is demonstrated by both conservatives and liberals!
In both labeled systems, watch for the groupthink behavior or individual behavior fraught with the fervor that they display by way of attitude or constructed language that bankrupts their integrity. When individuals do not retain the tenets of the Golden Rule and to “do no harm,” observe the anger or even sometimes the depression and sociopathic listlessness driving their behaviors, which again, I repeat, demonstrates the folly and emptiness of the depth of their sincerity.
In conclusion, balance and common sense for both groups, I would argue, would bring them together, thus deposing their label-based myopic pedestals and reducing them as black-or-white label-made entities. Still, both so-called conservative and liberal labels do have some seminal values when viewed for selective merit. Certainly the traditions of history have taught us of our folly and improved us, just as forward thinking and openness too offer a view often ahead of their time. Most importantly, read between the lines and find the common ground—and evaluate behavior as equally as rhetoric.
Again, I personally deplore labels—hence my bias toward common sense or toward common ground and a belief that we can all work together without partisanship if we only give the subject matter being discussed its true due. For example, when I see our US Congress vote along party lines, we experience a complete and utter failure to witness integrity. All we are seeing is groupthink and a miscarriage of justice toward the truth, toward peace, toward love, and toward right and goodness.
When I witness such individual and groupthink behaviors, I am reminded of the word pernicious, which is one of the most eloquent words for the excesses that label-driven or partisan people demonstrate. Firmly the cant of hypocrisy is certainly on the move when partisanship is in play.
One final comment: Certainty it is obvious that we need labels to identify objects. Please grasp the gist of my theme here, as it is subject to the constraints of exposition afforded us via the limitations of language. I am speaking about the labels of partisans, not objects.