"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Pogo
Reasoning + knowledge/insight + facts + constructiveness = What works
This is the key criteria for evaluating politicians and for creating results.
The enemy is not another person but is irrationality and lack of facts, whether it is a person acting based on those or based an assertion that one is trying to put forth, often looking for evidence for an early conclusion in one's mind. So, there are some lessons that I would suggest that people take in "Critical Thinking."
Biased talk can actually get so general that it belies the truth. When there is an axe to grind and/or when people have a predetermined conclusion that they must be right about, there is much damage being done.
When the health care companies were made scapegoats by calling them unfairly profitable there was no truth to that. When Goldman Sachs was blamed for the downfall, no rational analysis could support that - though people would adamantly state otherwise. When WalMart or any company is made evil, it is almost always based on prejudice and irrationality. When members of one party (the other party) are made to be evil and motives and mind reading are assumed, it leads to venom that serves no one.
Biased, non-rational, non-factbased rhetoric is unethical. I define ethics as acting in a way that as far as possible does no harm to any one individual and creates the greater good for those involved., Unethical behavior rises above any moralistic concepts into just plain doing damage. Ultimately, the only criteria is "does it work" to achieve desirable results.
Of course, there will be judgments that may vary by individual. And values will vary. In some cases, there will be no proven superior or "more right" conclusion.
But the only test we suggest should be passed is that of using good reasoning based on actual facts. This will be the test for all politicians, contributors to the political scene, and government actions, policies, etc.
Factcheck.org - Non-biased. Use search engine http://www.factcheck.org/
FactCheckEd.org - Learn about the various ways to think and look at the facts in any particular area, so you'll understand how things work.
Critical Thinking Unit: This unit provides a general overview of informal logic and critical thinking. It begins with the taxonomy of arguments, moves through the basic types of arguments, then goes on to explore some of the major ways that arguments can go wrong.