Want a better 2018? Buy the Democrats a mirror.

January 7, 2018

Last October I penned a column with the following observations:

“America today, for all practical purposes, is two countries under one flag”, noted that “The next generation of Americans will either be governed by facts and the rule of law, or feelings and the emotion of the day;” and declared “Like it or not, the time for compromise has passed.”

Some readers took it as the recap of our current political state and the parameters over which the future of this country will be fought that it was meant to be.

Others read it differently and with the usual labels (“toxic, hyper-partisan, extreme, hyperbole, etc.…”) took me to task for, “gasp” declaring the death of compromise.

Merriam Webster defines “compromise” as:

1 a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions

   b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things

2 : a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial a compromise of principles

The problem we face today however is will compromise be definition 1 or definition 2?

George Washington warned that political parties “serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community;”.

There is no debate that both political parties have their factions.  But only one is granting its factions “extraordinary force” and prioritizing their demands over the needs of the nation.

If the goal is increasing access and lowering costs within our healthcare system there are a myriad of proposals that could be implemented but because one party is hell bent on socialized medicine those proposals can’t even get trial runs.

A balanced budget amendment and basic entitlement reform could at long last put the federal government back on a path to fiscal sanity.  Yet dare propose either and you’re pushing grandma over a cliff and killing babies.

Comprehensive immigration reform could happen tomorrow if but only one party would put the rights of American citizens above the wants of illegal aliens.

And how much longer will inner city kids be denied a future because one party puts teachers unions (and their political donations) above the rights of a child to be educated?

Where is the Democrat party of just 50 years ago with a WWII hero turned President who extolled Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, promoted tax cuts and private business with “a rising tide lifts all boats”, and declared to the world that America would “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty”.

What happened to the Democrats of 1984 who sent one Ronald Wilson Reagan back to the Oval Office with a 49 state landslide victory?  Yes, just 34 years ago even California, New York and Illinois voted Republican.

And as recent as the mid ‘90s Bill Clinton, Harry Reid, Dianne Feinstein and others were demanding America secure her borders and stop the wage depression and overburdening of our healthcare and education systems by illegal immigration.

Return that Democrat party to America and there would be plenty of room for compromise. Find that party, and you find solutions.

Media narrative aside, Republicans are pretty much where they’ve always been:  minimal government, private enterprise, low taxes, and personal responsibility buttressed by a society respective of Judea Christian values.  In other words:  America’s founding principles.

Democrats however have been slipping farther and farther to the left.  Our political divide today has as much to do with the nation’s once great majority party losing sight of who it was as anything those “radical Republicans” are doing.

In their lust for power, their rush to “transform”, to “progress”, party leadership forgot that to be a viable party, to be a valid partner, identity politics could have no seat at the table.

To remember that America’s not about one political party’s “enterprising factions” demanding this, decrying that, it’s about founding principles, it’s about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as unfettered from government as possible.

Bring back that Democratic Party and you’ll not only get your precious compromise, you’ll have real progress, as one nation, united under one flag.

If the Democrats truly want compromise, it’s theirs for the taking.  They just need a mirror, a BIG one.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the January 7, 2018 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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