Compromise is lacking in both political parties

In the long run, ad hominem attacks will be defeated by truth and reason.

Since my purpose for writing letters to the editor is to be a contributor to a community conversation that contributes to the preservation of checks and balances in our political system, I wholeheartedly plead guilty to Alan Jackson’s charge of intentionally doing that (“Those lackluster, slow-growth Obama years,” page A4, March 3 Herald).

However, I strenuously disagree with his false, erroneous, and unsubstantiated conclusion that I oppose “virtually anything that benefits America.”

I also disagree that what I have written has shown “never-ending support for the previous regime’s policies.” What I oppose is irrational political extremism. What I favor is rational political compromise.

Recently, conservative columnist Cal Thomas asked his readers to “just think about how the media characterizes all things conservative.” What’s conservative about partisan political lack of compromise? Conservative icon and former Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater said, “Politics and governing demand compromise.” He also said, “Equality, rightly understood as our Founding Fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our own time, it leads to conformity and then to despotism.”

Since Obamacare passed on a party line vote, I have seen more evidence of conformity and despotism from our current Congressional leadership than compromise and emancipation of creative differences. Both today’s so-called conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats in Congress are guilty of conformist, extremist, partisan politics, as evidenced by the number of party line votes.

For both political parties, extremism in the defense of partisanship is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of statesmanship is no virtue. Old-time conservatism and liberalism based on governing by compromise are being replaced. Witness our present intransigent policy proposals from both sides on Obamacare and immigration.

What is being rationally conserved by today’s political conservatives?

What rational progress is being pursued by today’s progressives?

Was Goldwater wrong?

Think about it!

Tom Driscoll

Poulsbo