How politically immature are you?
Do you focus on who is wrong or on what is right?
Is your politics made up of invective, rancor, and scapegoating of the opposition? Do you ever think about or discuss serious issues in ways other than in terms of us and them? Do you ever focus simply on what is wrong and how it can be made better without referring to political identities? Don't answer; just think about it.
Do you support laws and actions that feel good or ones that actually do good? Be honest with yourself – how many of the things that you have supported wholeheartedly have, in the long run, turned out to be, at best, a feel-good effort that never actually produced any real benefit? How important has it been in your political life to understand the objective reality of an issue beyond the self-serving narrative that so occupies the partisans of the world? How often have you accepted the fact that the opposition's take on an issue was actually better than your own party's? Think about it.
Individual political/emotional attitudes frequently fall into the same categories as humanity's political evolution: tribal, authoritarian, feudal, theocratic, democratic. What do you think government should be, ideally? Should government strive to be a parent, a master, a protector, or a referee? Only the last choice assumes that adult humans are just that, adult in judgment and potential, while the current politically correct ideal seems to be that of a protector; the ultimate Father who can know best for all of us incorrigible children. Think about it.
Is it healthier for society to treat people like players in a game that requires referees, or like actors in a play who must keep to character and script lest they embarrass the other players? Who is freer, a quarterback who accepts the basic rules of the game and plays freely within them, or an actor in a movie who must keep to the exact words and actions dictated by the script, regardless of whether his role is a religious fanatic or a bohemian rock star?
Do you go beyond the left-wing/right-wing reflexes to either game or work the system? To the left, The Man is always wrong and malicious, while the underdog, whoever it may be, sinner or saint, must always be cheered as the hero, even when he is most villainous. In the mind of an immature right-winger it is the traditional system that must always be given a second, third, and fourth chance despite corruption and strife.
Do you seek to gain understanding of a system so that you know in your gut when it is working as well as can be expected as well as when it simply must be gamed?
Lastly, are you more concerned about vetting your own party or religious fellowship for loons, nutcases, and potentially embarrassing corruption, or do you ignore the beam in your identity group's eye in favor of loudly and publicly obsessing over the mote in the eye of the opposition?
Quick self-test: list as many scandals can you think of from the last election cycle that involve politicians in another party, then list as many as you can think of from your own party.
Now sit down, pour yourself a drink of something cool, and think about each of these points, and reflect on what you believe, why you disbelieve, and whether you wish to create solutions or to assign blame. We all have the choice: live to do what is right, or live to not be seen to do wrong. Freedom is not license to do what you will; it is freedom to be responsible in your own self for what you choose to do. Government of the people, by the people, for the people requires people who accept responsibility for themselves instead of those who wish to assume it for others, for their own good.
What’s in your ballot?