This week we witnessed a moment of compromise between our two governmental parties. There had been loggerheads over a rule called the filibuster. Fourteen senators, seven Democrat, seven Republican, brokered a deal of compromise to get the wheels of legislature moving again. Neither of the party leaders, Bill Frist or Harry Reid, were very pleased with the outcome. As with all compromises a party has to lose something in order to forge ahead. Both left that day cursing the “moderates” that had thrust this upon them. Progress had prevailed when both were looking for a showdown.
The first judicial nominee went through without problems then, instead of moving to the next judge in line, they switched direction to the UN nomination, John Bolton. Now the entire deal has proven to be for naught. Again, the Democratic Party threatens to filibuster in previously unheard of arenas. Again, the Republican Party threatens to enact the nuclear option against this sort of filibuster. Again, those that want congress to actually do something for a change shake their head in bewilderment.
Is this two party system so inclined to fight against each other that they will obstruct all progress in order to gain an advantage on the other party? Where does government stop and party begin? Is there any way to quell this tide of party fighting? Should we?
Moderation, or centrism lends itself to the thought that groups of people can work their differences rationally without choosing sides, touting declarations and making much ado about nothing. It uses words like compromise, agreement and sympathy. Centrists are usually the ones to get things moving, to break through, to cede a point in order to gain a point. They’re the small gears of each party that grind together in order to keep the larger gears moving.
To date, we have only had one president not associated with a party, George Washington. Some would arguably call him the greatest president we have ever had. Others would call him mislead by one party or the other and not at all a good president. It was this “spirit of party” that was one of the determining factors in him leaving office. The fighting and bickering was too much for his aging mind and body to take anymore.
So is centrism really the way to go? Should we disband our two party system and work as one unit towards a better democracy? Maybe we should and maybe we shouldn’t. Sure, centrism has been a good and worthy addition to government, but has it been a route that disdains all others? Should we always seek a compromise?
Since our two parties have formed we have grown to be the greatest, most powerful nation on Earth. Our military is second to none and our industry is better than any other country as well. Our nation is the envy of the world. It may sound arrogant, pompous even, but it’s true. No nation in the world is as desired as we are. When a nation needs military help do they call the French, the Chinese or the British? No, they call the Americans. When there is a humanitarian crisis are the Syrians called? No, we get called before anyone else in the U.N. humanitarian council is even considered. We are first in and last out.
So is it centrism that makes us the most sought after nation in the world? It’s probably not. It’s probably our unwavering desire to do better, our strong belief system and just plain old stubbornness. We go in with the intention of getting the job done and don’t leave until we see it through to the finish. Our greatness comes not from our ability to compromise, but our ability to laugh in the face of adversity. It comes from standing fast on one side of an issue or the other. It comes from our two party system.
We are a strong nation because our two party system makes every issue, every bill, every judicial nominee, absolutely everything to be sent through a trial by fire. We are the best because everything must be put up against the most rigorous approval process for any government the world over. It is our infighting that makes us stronger.
I am not saying that there is no need for a middle party. There is a definite need for some compromise between parties. It is an integral part of our government and without it there are times when all progress would stop. It is the bridge between the two unwavering pillars that occasionally needs to be traversed. Alone, however, I do not believe it could succeed. Just as alone the two opposing parties could not succeed.
Remember this the next time you see someone with the polar opposite to your opinion. There is a purpose for their dissenting opinion.
Remember this when you see two sides fighting over something as simple as blue or black ink. It is through this fighting that the most durable path of freedom is discovered.
Remember this when you see a R.I.N.O. or a D.I.N.O. and remember that there is a need for those in the middle just as there is a need for those on the extremes. A centrist is not a spineless weasel selling out his party. A centrist is someone trying to keep the wheels of legislature turning ever onward.Powered by Sidelines