Think for yourself

Will Saletan wrote this really nice piece on “escaping a partisan bubble” about a month ago, but I was just thinking about it in examining my own attitudes towards Obama and the oil spill.  Personally, I find the best way to be politically honest and open-minded is to simply ask myself how I would respond to something by mentally replacing the prominent Democrat at the center of it with a prominent Republican, or vice versa.  Of course, I may still be deluding myself when all is said and done, but I expect much less so.  And, with years of experience, I really think, not that much.  When I blog I’m happy enough to just spout off (like the oil), but I’ve done enough media interviews through the years now and I take my role as a (hopefully) unbiased ‘expert” very seriously.  I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at analyzing politics mostly absent my own personal views when I try.

Anyway, Saletan gives 10 ways to keep yourself out of a partisan bubble.  There’s some good tips; Saletan suggests “look in the mirror” and “overcome your urges” which I think is fairly close to what I was getting at.  Not sure if I 100% agree with all of these, but it is a pretty interesting list and our political discourse would be a hell of a lot better if everyone went by it.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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