Forum for Feb. 22, 2024: Politics means compromise

Published: 02-23-2024 5:07 PM

Politics means compromise

I wish I could put politics in a box and shelve it. I find the actions of Republicans in Congress so offensive as they mill about, bowing to Trump’s edicts and excusing him. A zero-sum game results where one side’s gain is the other’s loss. Neither side engages in mutually beneficial compromise.

To gain political advantage, these legislators are adept at obstructing bipartisan collaboration. All of the following references lead to political obstruction: Prioritizing party over country and valuing partisan ideology over the Constitution; promulgating conspiracy theories; seeing the “other” as the enemy; exaggerating negative claims about the state of the country despite evidence to the contrary; touting lies knowingly and spreading misinformation that denigrates the opposition; embodying delusional politics or the belief in the “Big Lie;” espousing white nationalism.

How can we encourage bipartisan collaboration? Several ideas have been offered: acknowledge that “your own view may be but one legitimate one among many, that there are no easy answers…;” legislators must demonstrate civility in their actions and speech; we need to treat the “other” as potential allies, not enemies, and seek compromises not confrontation; we must exercise mutual tolerance and self-restraint.

Believe with New York Times columnist David Brooks that holding onto one’s worldview is important but “sometimes the world is genuinely different than it was before. At those moments the crucial skills are the ones nobody teaches you: how to reorganize your mind, how to see with new eyes.”

Bob Scobie

West Lebanon

‘America First’
for a better world

I speak only for myself. But I believe that I may speak for millions. So, I’ll use the plural.

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We want to secure the border.

We want to reindustrialize this country.

We want to restore energy independence.

We want law and order in our cities.

We want an end to the foreign wars.

I’ll repeat that one: End the wars!

We want leadership that prioritizes American sovereignty, American security and American interests.

We can create a great country for all citizens regardless of race or gender; a country of peace and prosperity.

We could be an example for the rest of the world. A real Pax Americana.

Neil Meliment

Hartland

Managing the end of life

When I was in my mid-20s my father died an agonizing death from pancreatic cancer. His last months and days were terrible for him as his body wasted away. It was a horrific end for him and for us not knowing when, where, how and with whom he would die.

His desire was to die at home, surrounded by his family, peacefully under his agency and direction.

Being legally powerless to manage his death he died in a bleak, cold, unfamiliar hospital room, after a week of immense physical anguish, bleeding and suffering, with no loved ones by his side as we were not able to be there every minute of every day and his final breath was unpredictable.

If you were in my father’s shoes and given such an opportunity, ask yourself how you would like to end your one wild and precious life?

Someday you and I may actually be walking in those shoes.

Terry Spahr

Hanover