This past Tuesday, there were several primary elections around the nation, all of which gained national attention for one reason or another. While all of these states had issues of merit, I believe Indiana represents the more critical issue to our nation at this time.
Dick Lugar, a long serving (36 years) and well-respected Indiana Republican Senator was soundly defeated by the far right, Tea Party supported challenger, Richard Murdock. Since I only follow politics as a weekend warrior, I dont know much about either of them except what Ive gleaned from the liberal media, and a little digging on my own. (Is internet research still considered liberal?)
While I could expound on the political histories, positions, and voting records of each of them, Im sure you wouldnt care, and, for the most part, neither do I. Except for one small detail, which I consider essential to being a good politician, or for that matter, a good spouse, and that's the ability to compromise! And, compromise, like virginity, is not a dirty word.
The media has reported that one of the reasons for Lugars drubbing was that he had lost touch with his constituents back home.
This could be true. However, the more important reason seems to be that he was actually known to have routinely looked at both sides of pending legislation. He then decided to vote on the actual issue instead of whether it was printed on red or blue paper.
Let's not forget that it must have worked very well for 36 years. Unfortunately, compromise from our legislators today is about as welcome as ants at a picnic.
The problem for our nation is not that Dick Lugar lost, or that Olympia Snowe and Joe Lieberman decided theyre not up for a negative and expensive re-election campaign. The problem is that there are many others like them who have either already been voted out of office, or have chosen not to serve where extreme partisan politics is the rule of the day. There truly is a my way or the highway type of attitude in our politics today.
I wouldnt have believed people could actually believe in or support this manner of governance, but a colleague and I were involved in a little political banter and he claims he does support it. No compromise!
Let me be clear. I understand, from an economic standpoint, were in the middle of a mess right now, although slowly coming out of it, but we all get to share some of the blame for it.
The legislators and presidents from both parties are certainly guilty, as are the voters for allowing it. We all live in a glass house folks. Put the stones down or its going to get drafty for all of us.
If we were to look at just the spending issue, it very quickly becomes apparent that you just cant stop spending. While this may be an option in your household, its not even a consideration in a multi-trillion dollar budget.
How do we determine which programs or subsidies get cut? Is it just my programs or just your programs that get the ax, or might we compromise? Get it?
Id like to sum up with an example.
A number of years ago a friend of mine bought a new motorcycle. I was surprised, as I didnt think his wife supported the purchase. When I questioned him about the purchase, he said, I keep the bike in the shed and she doesnt know I bought it.
I guess he took the no compromise route, in spite of her obvious objections.
It worked out the way one might expect of unilateral decisions in a marriage. The bike was sold about three weeks later. Is it surprising they are no longer a couple?
If we vote out of office all of the legislators who are willing to compromise to get things accomplished, well get what we deserve, and we wont like it.
Theres a reason the color grey was invented.
Thats my opinion, whats yours?
Rick Godfrey writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.