There is nothing intrinsically wrong with partisanship. We often have to decide one way or the other on some issue and in the absence of any significant information that dictates how to choose, it is not unreasonable for people to align themselves with ‘their’ side, with those with whom they feel generally close to on most issues.
But hyper-partisanship, in which ideas and policies are supported and opposed based purely on who is advocating them, that overrides your own judgment and is irrespective of any information that is known and goes against that choice, is absurd.
Take for example the conservative opposition to fighting the causes of climate change. That has always been a bit of a puzzle. Some religious people feel that god will not let Earth be destroyed and so we need not worry, the big guy will make sure everything is fine. But not all the opposition is religiously motivated. There also seems to be a sense among some that those sounding the warnings about the danger of climate change are pursuing some sort of agenda that must be opposed at all costs, even though no one can say exactly what that nefarious agenda is or who might be benefiting from it and in what way.
A recent study finds evidence of this skewed way of thinking, and that “In a real-choice context, more conservative individuals were less likely to purchase a more expensive energy-efficient light bulb when it was labeled with an environmental message than when it was unlabeled.” So they liked the energy efficient light bulb until they told that it helped the environment.
Stephen Colbert also commented on this hyper-partisan behavior, pointing out that it does not affect only one partisan faction.
(This clip was aired on May 8, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)