In the last few weeks I have been involved in some heated discussions, debates and arguments on my school’s staff chat forum on our email program. This week I decided to stop contributing to the discussion. These discussions always seem to devolve into something that is not debate. All of this has lead me to the conclusion that true debate, discussion and compromise is now dead in American politics. It has been replaced by partisan politics proclaimed by political pundits.
As I was reading this weekend about the 1787 Constitutional Convention I realized how important compromise is to a republic. During the writing of our constitution there were lots of compromises made to complete the document. The Great Compromise gave us the make up of our U.S. Congress. The 3/5 Compromise made it so slaves states would not be as powerful as they could have been, and even gave them incentive to free their slaves. These compromises may not have been what one side or the other directly wanted but each side got something out the deal.
You even see compromise through out our history. The Missouri Compromise kept the peace between the slave holding south and the free north for a short while. The Compromise if 1850 again did the same. Both sides were willing to give up one thing to receive another. Compromise has been essential to our republic. But where is it today.
Within my lifetime I have seen our nation become more and more polarized and our politicians become more and more partisan. I see this even more so in the debates and legislation that has been since the election of President Barack Obama. It has become the tactic of my way or the high way. There was no input from the minority party on the Stimulus bill, Health Care Reform, Cap and Trade, or Immigration Reform. They have been cut out entirely. Just today Harry Reid says if Republicans are going to be with us we will move on without them. What ever happened to compromise.
Democrats have some good ideas of how to fix some problems we have in the United States. So do Republicans. Take Health Care Reform. Here is a compromise that could have been made. Democrats wanted pre-existing conditions covered. Great! Republicans wanted more competition to allow people to buy across state lines. Democrats wanted an individual mandate. Republicans wanted qualifying medical expenses to be tax free. Why can’t we compromise on these things.
Its not all our nothing. That is dangerous and tramples on the rights of the minority. This is not about D’s and R’s its about sitting down and agreeing together that each side has good ideas. That these ideas are not contradictory and would make the legislation better.
Instead we have Democrats going all or nothing without the Republicans. And we have the Republicans filibustering just to be heard or to stop the legislation.
I am sick and tired of all the parties. I wish this nation had listened to our greatest President over 200 years ago when he condemn political parties. All they care about is gathering power to themselves. Very rarely is it in the best interest of our nation.