Fanatic. Zealot. Demagogue. Do any of these terms describe you? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess no. I mean, who in his right mind would want to be identified as someone who blindly follows or uses false arguments to promote a belief system? That’s right, nobody.

And yet, here we are.

That’s exactly what defines America’s political divide. On both sides of the aisle you’ll find that sort of fanatical devotion – blind loyalty either to President Trump or #NeverTrump. Both sides employ demagoguery. And both sides are dysfunctional and dangerous.

The one human quality I have always found most dysfunctional and dangerous is fanaticism. Zealotry. Blind loyalty. Those qualities open you up to leadership by demagoguery and flawed decision-making on critical issues, which never ends well.

And yet, here we are.

Underlying all those qualities is a stunning inability or unwillingness to reason deductively, think logically and think critically. Because those modes of thinking require you to question every argument – consider all sides of every issue – to come up with the best decision or solution.

But fanatical devotion circumvents the critical thinking process by demanding blind loyalty to one particular belief system and consistently rejecting opposing views. And that’s a dangerous place to be.

There aren’t just two sides to politics. There are two sides to every issue, every argument, every decision to be made on where you stand. Picking an unyielding political side makes you a fanatic. A zealot. A blind loyalist subject to demagoguery.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s fine to have beliefs. What isn’t fine is being so steadfast in your beliefs that you cannot or will not consider opposing viewpoints and data points that call your beliefs into question.

Fanatical devotion is the dark side of humanity. Rule by demagoguery is a dangerous place to be.

And yet, here we are.

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