We have heard the buzzword “bipartisanship” tossed around like both a goal and a dirty word, simultaneously, at times ever since I was a child (Yeah. I was “that” kid), and somewhere along the way, we decided that getting our own way (in both parties) was more important than finding common ground.
That’s how we wound up with the ACA (which as a democrat I must admit has its fair share of flaws and it is time we admit it. See my vision for healthcare on that). It’s how we ended up leaving Chief Judge Merrick Garland pinned up as a political piñata in the annals of history. It’s how we got Justice Neil Gorsuch and it’s how we almost ended up with yet another albatross of a healthcare bill as law.
This has to stop!
Hey, Democrats! Like it or not, Republicans are Americans too! And hey, Republicans, before you get too smug, Democrats– well, Democrats are Americans too. There are patriots on both sides of our national divide and frankly it’s time we both start telling the truth, owning our shortcomings, accepting that we are not the last bastions of freedom and the other side has not come straight from the fires of hell to destroy all that we hold dear!
These are our countrymen – for better or worse. Ours is a marriage tested by fire and forged in blood and neither side holds the high ground. Neither side owns patriotism. Neither side owns family values. Neither side owns religion. Neither side owns intelligence. Neither side owns morality and most of all neither side owns America! So, it’s time for us to get our shit together. Yes! A political candidate just said that and no I am not about to apologize! This country matters too much to me to water down what I say here with niceties and professionalism. You’re hiring a president – not a choir boy.
We are better than the nation we have been. We are better than a nation who parses the difference between morality and legality to decide whether or not to denounce the reprehensible acts and words of people we have elected to serve us in leadership roles.
We are better than a nation who uses the trespasses of others to justify our own shortcomings.
We are better than a nation who thinks it’s okay to demonize those with whom we have disagreements rather than doing the hard work of coming together to listen, to understand, and to forge compromises that result in real help for the real people suffering in this land.
Bipartisanship is not just a buzzword. It is not a dirty word. It is not just a simple goal or nicety when we can manage it to score political points. It is the requirement of a nation with diverse ideologies. It is a requirement of a nation who values the rights of free speech, assembly, and the right to petition our government for grievances. It is the requirement of reforging our unity, our strength and our greatness.
If I am elected president, bipartisanship will be a requirement for governance. We will do the hard work to listen. We will find compromise, and anyone in Congress who has a problem with that is going to have to face their constituents because I learned a long time ago that when you have a problem with someone, you get a lot further when you go and talk reasonably with their boss.
Congress and indeed presidents do what we the people allow them to do. As Jefferson said “all governments derive their just authority from the consent of the governed.” When I am president, I will never forget who my boss is and I will never let Congress forget it either.
This country is made up of people with varied ideologies and with the exception of hate groups, they all deserve to be heard. None of us will get everything we want, but maybe, just maybe, through determined leadership and a dedication to understanding each other and forging difficult compromises, we can begin again down the path of a creating a more bipartisan nation, a more united country, and greater liberty and justice for all.
We will never have a perfect nation or perfect union. Our founders knew that – and knew the best we could aspire to is “a more perfect” union. That starts with cooling the rhetoric and rededicating ourselves to bipartisanship. That’s how we truly become great again!