Turning Congress’s partisans into problem solvers
A new approach to fighting partisan politics.
by Sen. Joe Manchin and Gov. Jon Huntsman
Much ink has been spilled over what’s wrong with Washington.
The rise of partisan media, too much money in politics and congressional gerrymandering that rewards ideologues with safe seats have all been offered as diagnoses for government dysfunction.
These explanations are accurate — but almost totally irrelevant to the urgent challenges at hand.
The American people can’t just hope for the creation of a better “system.” Reducing money in politics and building a better election system are worthy and important endeavors — but they are tough, multi-year, state-by state slogs.
We need to attempt those things and to seek solutions now from the system and the leaders we already have. Businesses are not hiring, and investors are not investing as a direct result of the uncertainty created by Washington. Too many would-be workers are not working. The coming generations are being doomed to a worse standard of living than previous generations.
Knowing that should light a fire under everybody in Washington. But it hasn’t. The gridlock continues, most recently with the “fiscal cliff” fiasco, and the fight over the debt ceiling looms.
From our perspective, there is only one way for leaders in Washington to step up: They need an attitude adjustment. Everyone needs to be willing to sit down with anyone — conservative, liberal or anyone in between — to work together to achieve success for our nation. Everyone needs to recognize that principled and deeply held political beliefs don’t require an all-or-nothing approach to governance and that the letter behind a person’s name does not automatically make them stupid or treasonous. [MORE]
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