The recent op-ed “What a moderate truly believes” by Gary Bennett was excellent, but it didn’t explain how we got into this partisan mess. I agree that more than half the populace falls into the moderate category, yet presidential elections consist mostly of name-calling and unrealistic proposals from the wings of both parties.

Ultimately, the rancorous atmosphere must be laid at the door of Congress. With a few exceptions, our congressional representatives have become much more partisan to ensure their re-election. In effect, they’re placing their own welfare and that of their party above that of the nation. Democrats may complain about the actions taken by the Trump administration on such matters as the environment, immigration, and tariffs — but they were complicit in granting the executive branch the authority to take such actions. The Constitution grants the authority over such matters to Congress, but recent Congresses have been unwilling to engage in the difficult work of negotiating the details of things like immigration policy, global warming and international trade. Instead, they either took no action on these matters or threw that job over the fence to the president. By such action or inaction, they avoided taking a position on any matter that might alienate some of their constituents, and thereby lose an election. It also allows them to go home early.

For at least the last decade or so, Congress has adopted a Tuesday-to-Thursday workweek, and even much of that time is spent out of the Capitol building dialing for dollars and schmoozing with lobbyists. Add in a five-week summer recess and many weeklong holiday breaks, and their actual work year amounts to little more than 120 days. No wonder they work so hard to get re-elected. Most of us would love to have a job like that.

Unfortunately, moderates often don’t vote in primary elections, either because they’re registered as independents or because they find both of their party’s candidates loathsome. The result is that the wing nuts determine who runs in the real election. At one time, we had leaders in Congress who were patriotic enough to place the welfare and security of the nation above retaining a majority in Congress. They used the power of their positions to control the wing nuts in their own party, and worked with the moderates on the other side of the aisle to craft legislation that addressed the most pressing and critical national issues of the day. Leadership like that is rare today.

K.W. Lackie

Thurmont

(13) comments

threecents

Appropriate that this LTE was placed next to one about the NRA in todays print edition. Lobbyists and campaign contributions are major contributors to the corruption in congress.

phydeaux994

What has Donald John Trump done for all Americans since January 20, 2017? What is Donald John Trump doing TODAY to help all Americans? What will Donald John Trump do tomorrow and for the next 15 months to make America better for all Americans? Now, ask the same 3 questions except substitute the word “himself” for the word “American(s)”. Now, make a list of answers for each set of 3 questions. Which list is longer?

rikkitikkitavvi

1) Made America Great Again

2) Making America Great Again

3) Continue to Make America Great Again.

Same answers to the first three questions.

Both lists are the same in length.

hayduke2

Can’t really point out how do you repeat a political slogan. [lol][lol][lol]

gary4books

The USA under Eisenhower dominated the world. It owned it and the Soviets were managed an a reason for the military forces deployed by the USA. But the diplomatic effort was to cooperation and the world saw the USA as benign and not a threat. We were smart. Now is just the opposite. That is NOT "great." It is stupid.


gary4books

How did we get in this mess? Or "Has it always been like this?"

Mostly it has been like this, but when both parties cooperated in Congress and used clever propaganda to mimic partisan differences, we had Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower running the show. Now? Nobody. What to do. Run in circles and shout? Or wait for the cycle to go back to Representatives who represent all the people and let us muddle back to "normal."



We do need "bad examples" to show what we can avoid.

Comment deleted.
phydeaux994

🐂💩

Dwasserba

Sensible. Nostalgic.

joelp77440

"Moderate's column was solid, but missed root cause of problems"

This reminds me of one of my favorite GOT quotes, " Nothing someone says before the word but really counts." Benjen Stark

public-redux

That certainly predates GOT. I’ve always known a version of it as the But Rule. The version I’m familiar with is “Everything before the word “but” is a lie.”

cleanrunoff

Spot on. When asked what the most important job for a legislator, other democratic nations representatives answer, "To do the nations business." When American legislators are asked the same question, their answer is, "To get re-elected".

gary4books

Just ask another question: "What do you do to get re-elected?

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