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Columns

March 3, 2013

Some politicians strive to work together

President Obama maintained the upper hand in the battle over sequestration. That is a real shame.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not picking sides. Actually, I think that Republicans need to address tax reform and be more willing to invest in our nation’s competitiveness, and Democrats need to address entitlement reform if we are to leave any sort of country for our children.

The shame is we judge the upper hand based on the cleverness of one’s politics rather than the nature of one’s insights. We applaud the “winners” who get ahead by marginalizing the “other side.” I would prefer we prize the Solomonic wisdom that can deal with complicated challenges.

I wish there were just one “side” — the side of a shared American future.

I don’t sense most Americans are interested in duking it out over political posturing. We just want sensible solutions that allow our country to maintain its role in the global economy. We want opportunities for our children that are at least as great as we enjoy.

To enable this future, we realize we have to be more sensible about government debt, and we realize the solution will be found on Main Street, not Wall Street or K Street.

And, we realize there can be good ideas from members of both sides.

It’s time to get away from labels and remember we all share certain inalienable ideals. While we may differ in the appropriate amount of income redistribution or the optimal level of government insurance against our misfortune or circumstances, there is much that we share.

You may have seen subtle orange pins worn by some members of Congress at the president’s State of the Union address. These are displayed by a centrist subset of members of the House and Senate who are willing to work across the aisle. They realize cooperation works better without demonization. They just might make a difference.

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