Freeman Stein: ‘Common ground’ easier said than found

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Published: 11/16/2020 3:06:08 PM

Recently, there have been letters to the editor suggesting that it is time for healing the national divide that is continually exacerbated by the administration. I am hopeful that Joe Biden’s commitment to serve all Americans will help build consensus within the Democratic Party, and it would be comforting to believe that this approach might lead Republicans to support expenditures and federal actions that respond to our significant challenges.

However, until elected Republicans and their supporters separate themselves from the dangerous behavior of the present administration (well-documented persistent lying, disrupting, inflaming, dividing and undermining our democratic institutions), it is hard to imagine the parties finding common ground. In addition, as long as Republicans support (or tolerate) the administration’s perversion of due process as Trump has done throughout his business career, finding a compromise to address our most serious challenges seems unlikely.

It is easy to understand why many are angry about the failures of our society to safeguard our quality of life. What I don’t understand is how Trump’s supporters can proclaim “Make America Great Again” when so much his administration does undermines quality-of-life issues. Is cooperation possible or desirable if Republicans refuse to accept the need for our federal government to address systemic racism, misogyny, gross inequality, climate change, the pandemic and an acceptance that our diversity strengthens our society just as it does in the natural world?

Much has been written about the necessity to find common ground, but we must also acknowledge that compromises made in the interest of building consensus have also caused some of our most intractable challenges and inhumane actions. Our democracy, if it survives these next two months, will be severely challenged if we make similar compromises again.

Freeman Stein

Florence




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