Jim Hoffmeyer makes some good points in his Independent Perspective (August 20), but I think his arguments don’t serve to advance one of the most fundamental elements of America, from its inception, that we are a nation defined by our differences of opinion, by our willingness to speak up for our values and have our voices not just heard, but accepted into the marketplace of ideas.
I’m certainly happy that Hoffmeyer so thoroughly rejects the insanity (hopefully temporary) that marks the Republican embrace of Trump. I imagine that many unaffiliated voters in Colorado are former Republicans who couldn’t stomach the rejection of intelligent leadership and meaningful ethics that this shift demonstrates.
And I’m happy that he supports bipartisan agreements. Those are great when they happen. But not everything can be bipartisan. And more to the point, something is probably wrong if all the people inside one party agree on their philosophy, on policy, on legislation. That requirement to march in lockstep to just a few leaders is a Republican flaw, one that is, happily, not repeated by the Democrats.
The Democratic Party is made up of people with varying viewpoints. From the moderately right of center, to center, to mildly left of center.
There are certainly no socialists, or anything close to socialists, in Congress … whatever labels they might choose to misuse for themselves.
Indeed, the most left leaning Democrats in Congress cannot be reasonably described as extreme in any reasonable sense - a topic for another essay, though. And each of these people bring their own values and goals to the table. Which is a very good thing.
What isn’t good? The suggestion that those who disagree with others in their party, or who don’t support measures that are likely o become “bipartisan”, should abandon their goals out of fear of a backlash leading to another Trump.
If we never choose anything but “meh” because we believe it’s the best we can do, then “meh” is all we’ll ever get. And when I look at American history, our greatest successes, our greatest achievements, all came with political risk. Not with taking the safe route. They came from people with vision, and a willingness to fight to make their vision a reality.
As a progressive, I support the larger infrastructure bill (even if I do not support all of its provisions, or all of its provisions equally).
My observation is that when the government makes these large investments, it results in economic gain that benefits everyone. I also fully understand the viewpoint of those who favor less government spending, even if I disagree with them. But if simply passing this bill is enough to drive the country back into Trumpism, then it’s clear our problems run much deeper than a single controversial spending bill. Compromise is an essential part of politics. And as this bill is considered, I expect there will be many compromises. But simply abandoning it out of fear is not compromise. It is cowardice. And it is not the American way.