April 1, 2012

A grand compromise

On this first day of April, I let my imagination run not to what Washington does, but what it could be.

Imagine a group of Democratic and Republican representatives and senators who come together to foment an ambitious plan. They could propose to put all politics aside and work on grand compromises in the spirit of our founding fathers. They could call themselves the Coalition for Common Sense, and their motto might be "serious solutions for a complex country."

This group need represent only a small, centrist, bipartisan subset of Congress. If it included 73 congressmen and 20 senators, less than 20 percent of Congress, each one could pledge to attract two additional members to approve their compromises.

Every great innovation in this nation was forged from the minds and hearts of a small group of committed individuals who were capable of respect for our differences, and united by a grander vision.

I gather the premises of this inspirational group will be profound indeed.

Like the vast majority of their constituents, these leaders could recognize that we have to return to the notion of "by the people and for the people."

Hopefully, they would agree it is ludicrous that corporations and unions are now considered people and can make multi-million-dollar donations to super-PACs that have so distorted modern politics.

Most of the country agrees that mega-corporations are entities of our creation, but have at times become mechanisms of political domination. We should get corporations, lobbyists, unions and special interests out of politics. If their individual members want to exercise their freedom of speech, then please do.

But, to offer corporations the greatest freedoms without the constraints and accountability of the rest of us is simply nonsensical. This group of representatives could return politics to you and me by taking money's influence on the media out of the equation.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • colin_read.jpg Good organizations lack drama

    Groups that accomplish their objectives do so with a minimum of distraction and politics, focusing instead on creativity and a dynamic vision, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Parking fines a short-sighted policy

    Tourists should be encouraged to do business downtown without fear of getting tickets, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Technical training a key part of education

    Recently honored, Champlain Valley Educational Services offers meaningful careers for those not heading for college, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Constitution withstands test of time

    The nation's founding document is a delicate balance that we should continue to nurture, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg This region helped shape a new nation

    As we celebrate our nation's history, we must also appreciate the key role the North Country played in the founding of two countries, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Diversity of views a key to progress

    With today's mobile society and 24-hour media, like-minded people tend to congregate together stifling diversity of opinion, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Local heros needed to inspire us all

    It takes individual talent and initiative to truly move a community forward to fulfill its economic destiny, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Fee on carbon needed

    Creating incentives to curb emissions is critical to containing climate change, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Governor inspires renewed shared-services effort

    Tax-cap plan has provided incentives for municipalities to get together to try and increase savings and efficiency, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Pipeline issue has no simple answer

    If Alberta oil is not transported through Keystone, it will cause more pollution to send it to China, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo