There were bitter comments from another ex-senior official as Robert Gates slammed contemporary politics in a speech at the Constitution centre (via WashPo).I do believe that we are now in uncharted waters when it comes to the dysfunction in our political system—and it is no longer a joking matter. It appears that as a result of several long-building, polarising trends in American politics and culture, we have lost the ability to execute even the basic functions of government, much less solve the most difficult and divisive problems facing the country. Thus, I am more concerned than I have ever been about the state of American governance.
America became polarised due to redistricting, a series of “wave elections” and the news media. Now “compromise” has become a dirty word.
Indeed, “compromise” has become a dirty word—too often synonymous with a lack of principles or “selling out.” Yet, our entire system of government has depended upon compromise. The Constitution itself is a bundle of compromises. Critical ideas and progress in our history often have come from thinkers and ideologues on both the left and the right. But, for the most part, the laws and policies that ultimately implement the best of those ideas have come from the vital political centre, and usually as the result of compromise.
Read the full speech at the Constitution centre.
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