Out of the Blue: Despite Trump’s actions, it’s time for compromise (opinion)
Out of the Blue
“I’m trying to love my neighbor and do good unto others / but oh, mother, things ain’t going well” — Bob Dylan.
We’re in this soup of American government together, you and I, but we’re not getting along all that well. As it’s well-recognized throughout our solar system by this point, your pal Mike found himself on the losing end of a contested thunderdome of an election last year, and said results scattered Democratic runners-up all over the map.
In my case, I took to this very publication right after Trump’s November victory offering a bitter, tempered promise to give his term in office the benefit of the doubt, which pushed many of my colleagues into a panic.
I don’t know that I was particularly complimentary to the guy in any specific fashion, but I tried my darndest to admit defeat, put on a smile, and send a weary wish to his transition team that should they have a good four years in office, we’ll all experience four good years.
My subsequent tormented honeymoon with DJT has since come to an ignoble end — for me, it was the second Muslim ban the guy passed in two months — but the reality of his White House remains.
I’ll agree with my more activist lefties that there are absolutely more corridors to investigate when it comes to conflicts of interest within Trump’s inner circle and his campaign’s still-sour relationship with Russian entities before, during, and after the election, but I’m also aware there’s no going back.
I remain cheeky about this, insisting on calling Mr. Trump Worst Supporting Actor Razzie Winner (Ghosts Can’t Do It (1990)) each week, but keeping up that shtick isn’t going to accomplish anything electorally seismic — we’re not going to see any retroactive presidency swaps any time soon.
So if we’re going to keep ourselves from circling each other in hauty huffs, we need common ground. We’re not all going to see eye to eye for a while, but what can we do to keep the shrapnel to a minimum?
Oh, goodness — we’ll need to (Brace for impact!!!!) compromise.
I spent much of last week reading about how some senators insist upon throwing every paragraph of the Affordable Care Act into the dumpster and others recognize we need some facets of it and should dump others.
As philosophically strident as many of us are, however, none of us are going to get exactly what we want out of this thing. Political folks of all stripes must recognize that antagonism — while useful in galvanizing the majority’s enthusiastic base — has to evolve into if we’re going to actually turn ideas into action. So here’s a meager attempt at thaw:
I agreed with Mike Pence last month. When our VP went to a cemetery outside of St. Louis to visit a Jewish cemetery that had been vandalized, he stated: “There is no place in America for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-Semitism.”
I don’t just agree with this sentiment, I champion it. DJT’s administration has been shaky about translating stances on issues into logical political action, but Mr. Pence, even though you were a bit late in saying what you did, thank you. Your specific word choices carry weight and are meaningful.
We need about a thousand more sentiments like this to really get into fighting shape, but maybe we’re getting there. Speaking only for myself, I will continue to resist new policies and laws that seem blatantly illegal, but when it comes to ideologies that run counter to mine, I will (reluctantly) step off the battlefield and let the new majority give things a whirl.
I’ve had less-than-positive things to say about the Secretary of Education DJT selected, for example, but I feel her take on her position is merely counterproductive and ill-devised, not directly in opposition to the Constitution. I won’t like it, but I’ll sit on the sidelines and (try to) keep my trap shut.
I don’t see a downside in each of us picking our battles and accounting for exactly what we’re prepared to risk. Democrats were losers last time around, so I should be over the moon if 25-30% of what I want politically comes to fruition.
On the other side of that U.S. coin, though, must be an opposition willing to call 75-80% of desired policy enough to move forward. The ‘all or nothing’ mindset that lingers within our current political slipstream has to go.
“A government held together by the bands of reason only, requires much compromise of opinion.” — Thomas Jefferson.
Mike Restaino is a writer and filmmaker based out of Incline Village. He is also a founding member of the North Tahoe Democrats. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.