Finding compromise takes real leadership

To the Editor:

Post-election letters to the editor continue the “take back our government” mantra, and I would ask the question: take it back from whom? Has the United States been invaded? The answer is obviously no. 

So, the question then becomes what defines “our” in the statement? The United States was founded as a democratic republic and the government belongs to all Americans, regardless of any other qualification. One party has no absolute right to claim the government as theirs, certainly not the Republicans or the Democrats.

Perhaps, it is the overwhelming majority of registered voters of one party who feel that this is their government. The latest statistic regarding party affiliation I could find was 2004. It breaks down this way: Republican 32.5 percent, Democrat 42.6 percent and Independent 24.8 percent. I do not see anything in these statistics that would support this premise.

No single party, especially the extremists in that party, has the only answer to governing. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written after honest debate, negotiation and compromise. America needs a government that puts country first and follows the example that was set by the founders.  Compromise is not a dirty word and does not reflect weakness. The Constitution was not a perfect document when written; otherwise it would not have been amended.

Our elected leaders must be encouraged to talk to each other civilly and realize that consensus is better than ignoring half of the citizens in the country. If America does not learn to build bridges instead of walls, it might cease to exist.

Jim Hartje


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