Monday, July 2, 2007

The Partisan Disease

I have come to the conclusion that partisanship is a mental illness. I first became aware of this in the early '90's while observing the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the savage wars that were fought there. I especially remember an interview with a Serbian man who was asked about the atrocities the Serbian forces had perpetrated on Bosnian Muslims in Sarajevo. The man refused to acknowledge that any such thing had been done by any Serb, and accused the Bosnians of doing all the things that the Serbs had in fact done.

I was troubled by the obvious insanity of the man. More troubling, however, is that I have since noticed the same pattern in our politicians and in their partisan supporters. Politicians have always been a slippery bunch. But the unreality that they are promoting these days has come to be something disturbing and I think, dangerous.

It is clear to me that partisanship is an unbalanced condition rooted in unreality and non-truth; a mental dis-ease characterized by self-aggrandizement and projection of all things undesirable onto the "others." And the truly disturbing thing about it is that with the steadily increasing polarization of our political process the leadership of our nation is increasingly in the hands of mentally ill people.

A person who is committed to unreality is pitiful. But such a person who is determined that everyone around them should acknowledge their unreality as truth is a menace. A group of such people banded together to force their unreality on society is a disaster.

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