7 Signs You’re A Partisan Hack

America has a problem, and it’s you.

We are in unprecedented times. Fortunately, we can count on you to say the exact same thing that roughly 48% of the population is saying.

What a great service you’re doing for your country! Where would we be without your original and nuanced ideas?

Probably some place much more constructive… but hey, that’s their fault. All you ever wanted was what was best for America.

Or maybe you’re so focused on being a team player you forgot what the game was all about.

Here are 7 signs you’re a partisan hack.

The Politobat

Unbelievable, these people! I mean, did you hear that segment on MSNBC/Fox News? It’s clear they’re intent on turning America towards fascism/socialism!

You read as much in the Huffington Post/Daily Caller yesterday. And then there was that one article you saw on Facebook.

And you know Facebook’s algorithm is impartial… it uses math to determine your political bias based on your comments/friends/likes and serves you information to enlighten you and engage you in non-commercial activity away from your chosen device.

It’s not like Facebook is optimizing what they present you for clicks based on the activity of your little bubble.

Sure their revenue model is presenting you ads and selling your online activity to the highest bidder… but they are also genuinely concerned about you getting the truth. Because that’s what social media has always been about: truth.

And the truth extends about as far as your finger. Where does your finger choose to go to today?

Probably the same place it went yesterday, and the day before that.

The same TV channel. The same radio station. The same newspaper. The same little social media bubble. Things make sense there. You’re free from the occasional perspective that might actually call into question some of your ideas.

It’s ok to fly blindly into the darkness so long as you’re surrounded by the familiar screeches of your fellow partisans. As long as you can hear a million of the same voices echoing off the cave walls, you know you’ll be safe.

You’ve dodged the light of a new idea.

It’s safe here.

You are… Politobat!

The Troll

You’ve been working hard all day… you deserve your afternoon break on Facebook.

It’s time to dig into those articles that made their way to your wall. And most importantly, to get down to the comments section and pick off the weaklings (did they even see you coming?).

They’ll be there. They always are. With their flimsy complaints about lack of regulation/overregulation or military/entitlement spending, etc.

All you need is a few minutes to craft the perfect zinger. Hit them where it hurts. Make their blood boil. Destroy their ideology in a single sentence!

With the deft agility of a few dozen keystrokes you have sent the trolls cowering into their lairs! And what could be a better use of your time? No doubt your clever words are making them rethink their entire world view. Clearly they are licking their wounds, if not considering outright surrender.

Push your rolling chair back from the desk, you warrior… you leader of men! Take a moment to bask in your victory.

Who dares defy the lord of the trolls!

The Fisherman

Remember that time you heard Jimmy make that comment about gun control at that dinner party (or was it on Facebook)?

He didn’t expressly say he was an advocate of ______, but he believes _____ and ______, so he definitely thinks ______.

There was that incident yesterday and now it’s clear as day… how could anyone believe ________ after that?! And you just know he does.

All you have to do now is make a snarky comment to lure him into responding. Or maybe taunt him with a question with an obvious answer, and then watch him respond. It’s your chance to capture him in his stupidity and score another victory!

You know the places in the stream where the fish gather for shelter. Just throw your fly a little upstream and let it float down over their head slowly. Whip it back quickly and cast it again a little closer… or further away. It has to look natural.

And when they bite, yank back forcefully to set the hook and drag them out of the river, kicking and flapping. Remove guts. Serve to friends.

You’re a fisherman! You’re itching for a fight, and you know where to get one.

The Checkmate

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. But… there are 1440 minutes in a day. Not good odds.

But what if there were only two minutes in a day, and the same one was always wrong? Then you could always be right! This is the thought you embrace when you enter the voting booth.

Julia Martinez for school board? Yes. Stanley McDonald for County Judge? Yes. Asif Rahman for State Controller? Yes. Betty Weingartner for Insurance Commissioner? Yes.

Do you even have any kids of school age? What was the last ruling in your county courthouse that impacted you? What does a controller even do? And what are the qualifications for being an effective insurance commissioner?

Swat these pesky questions away. It doesn’t matter if they’re under investigation for fraud, or they’re a yoga instructor running for state controller or they changed their party affiliation to the county’s dominant voting block a month before registering as a candidate… the only real qualifications that matter are your party registration!

So get in there and put a check next to all those Ds/Rs, because people’s careers are depending on you being uninformed!

In you, they’ve found a real Checkmate.

The Bully

“She’s a… Republican/Democrat,” you say, wincing. You’ve just finished describing your “friend” to another friend and it’s important you add that caveat in there, deftly brush aside the fleeting thought that you might exist in a political bubble.

After all, you wouldn’t want them to think you wholly approved of this person. She is your friend, but you do, of course, recognize that there is something fundamentally wrong with her.

She has a twisted world view. Somewhere along the way she got confused.

But she’s super fun to hang out with. You guys are old high school pals. She even watches your kids when you’re out of town. As long as she doesn’t start talking about _______, because then you have to shut her down fast.

Kind of like last week when you had a bunch of friends over for dinner and _______ somehow came up. It was beautiful.

She started trying to explain her position and then you nailed her with that one comment. She tried to explain it away with that stupid analogy she always uses and then your friends chimed in, one by one, just like you knew they would. And eventually she knew she was losing and she just stayed quiet.

A tried and tested method: invite her to come play with you after school. Wait until she’s walking home alone. Race across the block with your friends. Shove her into an alley. Beat her up. Steal her backpack.

Bravo. It takes a special type of courage to take someone down when you’ve got them outnumbered.


The Neighbor’s Dog


Why let someone explain their position on a matter if it contradicts your own?

Interrupt them at every opportunity! Ask them questions and don’t let them answer! Make sure your voice is always louder! After all, history is written by winners!

It’s not like a people silenced have ever stood up to defend themselves. No, they just realize they’re wrong and go about their way quietly, never staging a revolution….

The neighbor is coming home from work? Bark! Someone is walking down the street? Bark! Mail is being delivered? Bark! There’s a squirrel in the tree? Bark! Your house is being robbed? Bark! Socialists/fascists are trying to take control of the government and subjugate us to their totalitarian superstate? Bark!

People need to know what you know! There’s a squirrel in that tree and political armageddon is at hand!

If you scream it loudly and often enough, they can’t possibly tune you out… right?

The Deflector

You consistently engage in “constructive” dialog with your peers of opposing political orientations. And you should get a medal just for this. How many people do that?!

They always try to bring up xyz, but you have to remind them: abc!

Can you imagine they would bring up that your candidate did _______ when theirs did ______?!

The few people your party has deemed as acceptable candidates must be held in unassailable reverence. You must defend them from all enemies, all of the time.

Never admit weakness. Never admit wrongdoing. Heathens shall be punished!

If ever the enemy is to call upon a flaw, call out their own with overwhelming righteousness! The only way to win is to deny our own flaws.

Alcoholics may be ready to take step #4: make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves… but that’s because they have a problem.

We have no addiction. So it is unnecessary to admit that we are powerless over it.

Deny inconvenient truths.

We are counting on you, Deflector!

The United States has a population of over 323 million people, overwhelmingly descended of immigrants from different countries, with over 311 regularly spoken languages and all of the world’s major religions and most of it’s minor ones.

And yet for the most complex issues facing us here today, this beautiful mess of culture and experience and ideas can all be summed up in a binary choice?

Better yet, one should pledge fealty to a team because most of its professed positions hew close enough to your own and it’s reasonable to just swallow the rest?

You know what other social units follow this ideology?

Gangs. Militias. Extremist groups. Totalitarian governments.

What state do you live in? I live in California. Presidential candidates don’t even bother campaigning here, despite it’s population of over 35,000,000. You know why? They already know how we’re gonna vote. It’s a waste of time and it’s a waste of money.

YOU… are a waste of time. You are a waste of money.

As a reliable partisan, you need only be occasionally fed red meat to satisfy you.

Nobody is coming to town to ask you what you think about the issues. They already know what you think. They know you’ll defend “the party” against its enemies.

Here’s an idea:

Break ranks.

Think for yourself.

Listen before you talk.

Make them work for it….

Binary choices are so 20th century.

When the opportunity arises, challenge yourself not to be one of the seven people described above. Who knows…

…you might actually learn something.

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