Recently I wrote that, in America, much our political freedom occurs outside politics. This may sound paradoxical, but it isn’t. As good Jeffersonians, we have relegated politics — particularly at the federal level — to a small corner of our lives.
American engagement is voluntary, not state-mandated. American communities are local, not national. And American society is largely devoid of the dead hand of political zeal, found so frequently in other democratic countries. We are at heart local yokels, not party animals.
Of course, that doesn’t apply to all Americans. Sophistpundit, observing the preachings of pre-election party advocates, compares them to sports fanatics: there’s no substance here, just our team (cheer) against yours (hiss).
Yankees and Red Sox, Red and Blue — there will be no love for the sport before love for the team, and you shall honor no principles above loyalty to the Party.
Today on the George Mason University campus in Fairfax we witness a pep rally for the Blue that would make any tailgater proud. The question of decision is thrown to the wind — what decision is there to make other than to stand by the Party? Instead we see a display of enthusiasm, of the exuberance of fans.
Party Loyalty is the hobgoblin of little minds. That all parties might contain within them good people, who might even be seeking to accomplish tasks you agree with more than the choice doled out by the Party, does not even enter into it. Perhaps it is recognized that the Party isn’t perfect, but this is quickly relegated to triviality — to go against the Party is to risk losing a life of simple choices for a life of difficult decisions.
Those who bleat and chant for the color rather than the character, those who worship the will of the Party, sacrifice their judgment at the altar of foolish consistency.
Honestly, I don’t know how cerebral politics are supposed to be. But I do consider the whole subject to be vastly less important that the Washington Nationals, whom I can cheer mindlessly but in good conscience.