My Messiah College colleague Robin Lauermann has an op-ed in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reflecting on the problems with political partisanship. I think it is an important read this Election Day morning. Here is a taste:
The problems our society faces are complex, and they require nuanced
solutions. For example, policies that assume poverty is solely the
result of circumstances beyond a person's control - or, conversely,
solely the fault of the poor - will miss the root causes. Like a
physician who misdiagnoses an illness and prescribes the wrong
treatment, voters and officials who are blinded by ideology will not
effectively address our social and economic infirmities.
The skills of appropriate citizenship can help us deal with this. One
constructive skill is critical thinking, which resists our strong
natural tendency to reject whatever doesn't suit our current
sensibilities. Critical thinking, as defined by the Association of
American Colleges and Universities, is "a habit of mind characterized by
the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events
before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion."
Voters who practice such thinking can listen to multiple perspectives,
identify valid evidence, and make considered decisions that produce
better results. That's a far cry from the conflict that arises from
emotional partisanship and selective perception.
Nice job, Robin!