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Reader's Forum
Political parties must compromise and cooperate
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Editor:
The letters from Robert Shaw and Paul Consenza offer kernels of truth that readers need to take seriously.

None of the nation’s problems are the sole creation of one political party. An eclectic array of circumstances impact those problems, none of which are the exclusive property of Republicans or Democrats, but a melding of both political parties policies (or lack thereof) over a long period of time.

The GOP over the past 40 years or so has been responsible for more national debt than in all of the nation’s history; Reagan and Bush II created more debt than all their predecessors combined with their absurd adherence to the “free market/trickle-down” mantra – that is not fiscally responsible!

Teddy Roosevelt fought the “robber baron” greed of the 1890s; Franklin Roosevelt fought similar issues in the 1930s to rescue the nation from that fiscal greed. All of which was scuttled by the GOP’s Graham-Leach Act of 1999, which unleashed that same greed to create the “great recession” – from which we are slowly recovering.

Many current Republicans follow the dictates of the Koch Brothers’ American Legislative Exchange Council, which preaches obstruction and obfuscation in order to preserve their 1 percent status – they are succeeding.

With the advent of the Obama administration and the Tea Party’s hijacking of the GOP, political parties that once bridged their ideological gap to compromise and cooperate to benefit the nation have abandoned that ethic since at least 2010 – with disastrous outcomes for both political parties.

While there is much of value in the policies of both parties, neither political party fulfills the entire spectrum of the nation’s needs, which merely underscores the necessity to compromise and cooperate to meet those needs. That ethic has been compromised “inside the beltway,” and in nearly every state legislature and city hall across the nation.

While conservatism and freedom are worthy attributes, so are compassion and caring, especially at a time when the nation is still reeling from the excesses of those who would exploit any of those values.

All of which underscores the necessity for citizens to be factually, truthfully informed in order to render doable solutions to problems.

Obsessive focus on one ideology, or the perceived failures of “the opposition,” is no way to resolve the tremendous problems challenging the nation and the world.

Mike MacDonald
Clearwater
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