Hello. I’m Cal, and I have a topic that I hope will inspire some good discussion and hopefully turn up some good ideas.I’m persuaded, from what I read, discussions with friends, and from my own personal experience, that many Americans would like to see more bipartisanship in the actions of our leaders in Washington. And yet it seems that our leaders have largely been at loggerheads over most everything. So, I thought that it might be good for this new forum for ideas to explore the topic of working together in general: what makes an activity in governance “bipartisan”, why do there seem to be larger than average obstacles to bipartisan collaboration at present, is this a problem that should motivate the search for ways to foster bipartisanship or not, and what sorts of things could be done to improve the situation (either to encourage more bipartisan work or to derive better overall governance from a lack of bipartisan efforts)?
I’d like to suggest we begin with what constitutes bipartisanship. To some extent, I’ve gotten the impression that some feel that it now refers only to working on those things that we all agree on. But important bipartisan efforts have generally involved collaboration despite disagreement, and even compromise. Is agreeing to disagree and hence do nothing a bipartisan activity? What, in general, does it mean for one to act in a bipartisan fashion?
I’m certain that discussion of this topic, like any related to politics, could easily degenerate into an airing of grievances and finger-pointing. But I’d encourage us all to aim for something nobler and more worthy by engaging in honest and respectful discussion. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll come up with some good ideas for improving things