Dangerous Extreme-Partisanship. Put under the spotlight. Transparency and Accountability.
All of us have bias. It is the human condition. It means we intrinsically favor race, religion, nationality, gender that we best understand, which is our own generally, our tribe. Partisanship is more intense level of tribal loyalty.
This blog is on extreme-partisanship which I define as adherence to your tribe or leader of your tribe which exceeds your participation in most other things, including the truth. Extreme partisanship is by far the most common reason for most discords, including war. Extreme-partisanship is dangerous and often deadly.
In our present age in the US we are observing an intense level of political extreme-partisanship, that exceeds any partisanship since World War II in the western hemisphere. This is dangerous and frightening. Other partisanships overlap or are correlated, such as intense Christian ideology and political party as we see in our current Supreme Court, resulting in such anti-public rulings such as abortion and guns. This to a shocking extent. What ofcourse is amazing is often the ground floor supporters of extreme-partisanship, adhere to individuals or organizations that push policies that are in opposition to their welfare. Some of the people, all of the time.
We are as of today learning even more frank corruption and partisanship in the US Supreme Court, which is tragic and sad. Unfortunately it reflects that essentially all arms of government show extreme partisanship: everything is partisanship, very little is truth.
Major sources of extreme partisanship are political, religious, ,race, and university
I can speak of this with first hand experience which I will address in a separate blog, where UNC law school graduate (UNC ) judges at the level of the Orange County Superior Court, NC Appeals Court, perform as extreme UNC partisanship judges, where loyalty to UNC trumps any consideration of truth.
So what can be done:
In senior levels of government and judiciary the worst offenders should be fired and a number imprisoned.
Judges with any perception of partisanship either for or against an individual should be forced to recuse from ruling on a case. So, in the case of a previous president, judges should neither be those who have shown bias against them, or who have shown adherence to them, especially if they were appointed by the president. Another example, UNC judges should never rule on cases brought against UNC. To ensure justice, a judge must not have a pony in the race.
Transparency and accountability is of paramount importance. If a judge receives 100 of thousands or millions of dollars in trips and other gifts from members of a particular party, this judge should never never rule on a case that has any implication for the party responsible. This particular judge has done in fact the exact opposite. Judges must be forced to recuse from cases they have tribal affiliation with. If they have not declared those gifts they should be fired. If state judges receive a large amount of election money from individuals or organizations, like a major state university, they must be forced to never rule on cases that pertain to these financial contributors.
Extreme partisanship has to be combatted, otherwise justice is not truth-based but tribe-based. A starting point is to shine a light on it, to bring to the public's attention. This has been done with the US Supreme Court. Even before the most recent revelations, the Supreme Court had a 17% approval rate, which is approximately the same percentage as extreme anti-abortion advocates. In other words, the actually approval rate in the rational US population is 0%.
State judges are if anything even worse, since judges in the state system are elected positions. Hence they are beholden to the individuals/groups who have funded their election campaigns. Putting these judges under scrutiny is one appropriate and mildly potent method to ensure some level of truth in their rulings. Public scrutiny forces them to appear atleast partially objective. If cases are beneath the public's radar, then judges render judgments based near purely to benefit the tribe, with little attention to truth. One of the small devils of human nature: shameful extreme partisanship. If anything, this becomes more prevalent the higher in position an individual is. So between a court stenographer or judge, who is more likely to have integrity, the stenographer.
Richard Semelka, MD.