Social Good and Partisan Politics

E J Dionne Jr observes in a recent op-ed essay "In defense of partisanship – the right kind" that there are good reasons for political parties to differ, both on values ("... the relative priority of liberty, equality and community ...") and on specific policies. Both sides do need to agree, Dionne argues, "... to abide by the results of free elections, to tell the truth about those elections and to offer all citizens equal opportunities to participate in the electoral process ...". His bottom line:

... in a good society, most political differences involve not a choice between good versus evil, but among competing goods – efficiency, security, entrepreneurship, fairness, individualism and solidarity, to name a few. ...

As Rushworth Kidder said a few decades ago, the dilemmas that thoughtful people wrestle with are not right vs. wrong (violations of values), but right vs. right (conflict of two or more core values). Justice demands thinking better, a nuanced balancing act in multiple dimensions on multiple timescales.

(cf Ethical Fitness (2000-12-15), Circle of Concern (2012-07-18), Left, Right, and Wrong (2017-12-21), Righteous Mind (2020-07-12), ...) - ^z - 2021-03-02