Our system of governance was founded on compromise; a bridging between parties for the greater good. Yet, today, we often elect representatives from both sides of the aisle who are less likely to compromise than ever. As recent decades have demonstrated, until this bridge is rebuilt, it is unlikely that we’ll see long-term progress on many issues crucial to our nation.
As voters, we need to recognize our contribution to this reality. Few issues are binary today; we need to stop treating them as such. We need to think more deeply about the repercussions of electing polarizing candidates who represent the extreme of either side. Uncompromising ideals are dangerous and limiting in a diverse and large democracy.
The difference between the successful progressive movement of the early 20th century and today’s movements are that the former bridged party lines while today’s divide. Progress towards the greater good requires embracing unifying common goals and values.
In this vein, consider voting for Liam Madden for U.S. House. While running as a Republican, he is a self-funded and has declined party endorsement. He is an independent thinker with strong values who doesn’t firmly align with either party. Even if you find you don’t agree with him on every topic, rest assured that he will work to encourage both parties to see that the only path forward to progress requires compromise and systemic change.
East Montpelier, Vt.