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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

national

Compromising politics

If you want to know the problem with American politics, you need only look at our political discourse.

We’ve forgotten what it means to compromise.

House majority leader Eric Cantor was unseated Tuesday in the Virginia Seventh Congressional district primary by Tea Party candidate David Brat.

Brat, a Randolph-Macon College professor of economics with almost no prior political experience and far less campaign money than his rival, slammed Cantor as pro-immigration, and pulled off a remarkable win.

Cantor is by no means a liberal, and his loss suggests an ever-widening gap between radical beliefs on both sides of American politics.

Our moderate views are being swallowed up by a primary system that radicalizes all candidates and makes it harder and harder to have reasonable views.

Will we ever get past this partisan bickering and find a way to reach across the aisle?

I hope not.

Although America has a problem with radicalizing candidates, we have an even bigger one in our legislation.

We’ve always been a nation of opposing views. Since Jefferson and Hamilton split the nation into two parties, we’ve been forced to pick a side.

We have liberals and conservatives, emboldened change and cautionary
restraint.

This has done a good job of balancing out our
policies.

 We’ve been able to push forward while still maintaining traditions that work. Those who seek change have been able to achieve it, but at a slow enough pace so as to not upset the status quo too much.

 And in the past, we used a system of compromise that benefited everyone.

David A. Moss, a professor at the Harvard Business School, calls this compromise the adoption of the best of both sides.

Both parties push for the piece of legislation they deem most important, and help each other pass them. Both sides get what they want; both sides walk away with a win.
 
Somewhere along the line, we lost that. We decided compromise meant a tug of war on every issue, an eternal struggle that leaves everyone bitter and disappointed.

What we get now are watered-down versions of bills that don’t do their jobs and put Congress in a state of perpetual gridlock.

Was the Affordable Care Act really a victory? Does it accomplish anything significant?

No wonder people are so dissatisfied with their representatives.

We’re at what Moss calls “politics at war,” fighting over the same scrap of land forever.

And like actual war, it sucks.

If we want to be happy with our politics, we need to pick our battles.

We need to accept that the other party isn’t trying to destroy the nation and that we’re not always going to get exactly what we want.

The beauty of America is in our differences. We shouldn’t forget that.

sckroll@indiana.edu

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