opinion

COLUMN: Polarization in government needs to end



Unfortunately, there is no Uncle Sam-sponsored miracle cure that can solve a problem at the root of our 
nation’s government.

Political polarization is harming the effectiveness of the federal government and our ability to solve problems.

You could spin a wheel and pick almost any topic under the sun — immigration, Planned Parenthood, religious liberty and the federal deficit to name a few — and find insane comments made about it from the left and right wings of the issue.

All of these, and many more, are critical issues that affect almost all of us. Yet there is no approachable middle ground to be found in America today.

A Pew Research Center survey from 2014 found that we as Americans are more polarized than we have been at any point in the last two decades.

92 percent of Republicans are more conservative than the average Democrat, which is up from 70 percent in 2004. And 94 percent of Democrats are more liberal than the average Republican, up from 68 percent of the same year.

While it’s no surprise that Democrats are more liberal than Republicans are, it’s disappointing to see that each party is now more entrenched within its own views than it ever has been before.

So far, very few of the candidates running for president can boast that they have successful bipartisan leadership experience to bring to the table.

While Hillary Clinton did work with congressional Republicans during her tenure as first lady and as a senator from New York, too often her messages towards 
Republicans have been 
negative and accusatory.

However, the Republicans themselves are definitely not blameless either. Their current front-runner, businessman Donald Trump, has been characterized by many political figures as being a bully for his remarks towards Democrats and other 
politicians.

Who can we look to 
provide positive examples of cooperation?

We need more leaders like Jon Huntsman, Tom Davis and Richard Lugar, who represented our great state for a total of 36 years.

While each of these political figures might lean more towards one side than the other, they are not afraid to reach across divided aisle ways to find common sense solutions to problems.

Each of these politicians have served under both Democratic and Republican presidents. They have voted for bills that were crafted by the opposing party, and sometimes they even helped create bills with people from the opposite side of 
Congress.

They are also not motivated to see how popular they can get on cable news or 
social media.

They have ideas, they have experience and they have a vision to get things done. And that’s what brings them together.

I’d like to see the talking heads on any cable network be able to do that.

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