“Don’t you think it’s better when the government isn’t in control of one party?”
With the Democrats ready to take back the Senate (as I write this), that question comes up.
My answer? Normally, yes.
But that concept labors under the assumption that the parties will then work together and compromise. As long as one of the parties refuses to do that — refuses to even let bills come to the floor to be debated — then no, all that does is make government inefficient, useless, and nonresponsive to the electorate.
Give me a reasonable Republican party and maybe I’d agree.
I’m with you all the way on this, Mike.
For those who don’t know me, I’m a (gasp! they-really-exist??) moderate conservative. I see good on both sides of the aisle, and I see bad.
The bad we have right now is President Trump. That is exacerbated by (to me) the inexplicable seemingly blind loyalty too many Republicans have to him. Party unity counts for a great deal; it allows our representatives to get things done. But blind loyalty at the cost of national confidence and to the harm of the people for the purpose of continuing one’s own political career should, by definition, disqualify a person from further service as a public servant.
The good we have right now is President Trump. No, I mean it. He’s so clearly demonstrated how bad things can go when extremism reaches the point of extreme self-delusion and/or megalomania. And from that, the good of our system demonstrates itself in true political crisis. The lessons learned here are: We can survive this and still keep hope. That blind loyalty to anyone but especially to a politician who cares not a whit for the people he is supposed to serve, will have consequences. That some (not all) of those supposed to be delusionally loyal to President Trump can only go so far and step back from the precipice.
The caution here is for the Democratic government about to assume full control of the reins we have given them. President-elect Biden is by far a better man than Donald Trump. (A low bar, admittedly: A can of expired Spam is a better man than Donald Trump.) But he needs to guide the nation’s now-liberal agenda, not be led by it. The greatest damage accomplished by Trump’s presidency is the unity his extremist supporters have achieved. There are many things the Democrats will want to accomplish for the next (at minimum) two years. But they need to keep the word “moderate” in the back of their minds. Because the first thing that’s needed to be achieved is the healing of our political landscape. Speaking to the primary cause of the Civil War, historian Shelby Foote said:
“It was because we failed to do the thing we really have a genius for, which is compromise. Americans like to think of themselves as uncompromising. Our true genius is for compromise. Our whole government’s founded on it. And, it failed.”
We nearly failed yesterday, just as we have been nearly failing for some time. It’s time to rely again on our “true genius”.