By Peter Wehner
Originally posted June 6, 2015
Here is an excerpt:
“Thus,” Mr. Mehlman writes, “policy positions were not driving partisanship, but rather partisanship was driving policy positions. Voters took whichever position was ascribed to their party, irrespective of the specific policies that position entailed.”
So what explains this? Some of it probably has to do with deference. Many people don’t follow public policy issues very closely — but they do know whose team they’re on. And so if their team endorses a particular policy, they’re strongly inclined to as well. They assume the position merits support based on who (and who does not) supports it.
The flip side of this is mistrust. If you’re a Democrat and you are told about the details of a Republican plan, you might automatically assume it’s a bad one (the same goes for how a Republican would receive a Democratic plan). If a party you despise holds a view on a certain issue, your reflex will be to hold that opposite view.
The entire article is here.