It’s a familiar question. I heard it again not long ago.
My Republican friend/foe Jack Hawke and I were tossing partisan grenades at each other during a panel on this year’s elections.
When it was time for Q&A, the question was: “Can’t the two parties put aside their differences and solve our problems instead of fighting and attacking each other all the time?”
No, we can’t. What’s more, we shouldn’t.
The question rises from a well-intentioned, civics-book view of politics. But it overlooks the basic fact that politics is about differences and disagreements – often deeply held.
An example: On health-care reform, Democrats thought every American should be required to have insurance. Republicans disagreed.
There is no middle ground there, no compromise. We either require it, or we don’t.
So we see who has the most votes today. Then the other side gets a chance to take its case to the people for their vote.
That leads to a lot of fussing and fighting, fuming and fulminating, posturing and positioning.
You may not like that free-for-all. If so, there are places that don’t have it. Like North Korea.