Increasingly, Republicans and Democratic officials are taking immovable partisan stances on certain issues, leading some political pundits to wonder whatever happened to compromise and centrism.
But, could this trend of polarization actually help Republicans craft better policy?
Members of Congress and the Senate who practice trite and true political centrism are long gone. The only kind of centrism that most see are politicians elected in a state controlled by the opposition party. Those officials have to at least come across as moderate, or fear losing their political power.
Except for a few senators such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Republican Mitt Romney of Utah, party-line voting has become the go-to method for most politicians, at least in Washington, D.C..
Yet, the critical aspect to remember is that the loss of centrism in politics is not necessarily a net negative.
Both sides of the political aisle have their steadfast positions on a variety of policy issues, core to their party’s platform.
In today’s political arena, it is very rare to find a Democrat in either the U.S. House or U.S. Senate who would support an anti-abortion bill, just like it would be unlikely to find a Republican who would support a pro-choice bill.
President Trump’s term brought out the partisan feelings in nearly every legislator that is currently in office. Democratic leaders stood on their convictions, and Republicans offered bold policies and positions in a departure from the establishment, moderate approach to legislation under previous Republican presidents.
This meant figures such as then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., could achieve measures such as a record number of judicial nominations without worrying how to garner swing votes from the Democratic faction of the U.S. Senate.
Senators like the GOP’s Rand Paul of Kentucky and Tim Scott of South Carolina were key voices on issues like criminal justice reform.
The seismic shift from moderate to, as one could argue, true Republican values has impacted the national GOP for the better.
The pursuit of debate allows for more solutions, without needing to agree based on a few swing votes.
Voters did not send their representatives to Washington to be 50/50 on nearly every issue. Constituents want their values stood for.
If you are a conservative, you are likely to be encouraged to vote morally on issues that the left would call you a monster for supporting. In the past, in the name of centrism, GOP officials would often abandon their principles in hopes of saying they put-forth bipartisan legislation.
But that sort of kowtowing to the altar centrism left American voters with watered down legislation, which did very little to improve their lives.
From a conservative perspective, walking across the aisle to vote on policy issues such as a minimum wage of $15.00.00, pro-choice policy, anti-Israeli foreign policy, or Universal Healthcare is not bipartisan or centric. It is shielding weakness behind cooperation, simply for the sake of getting re-elected.
Conservatives don’t send officials to D.C. just to get re-elected. We send them there to stop the left, remove government burdens, and courageously pursue the common good.
Although many do not want to admit it, partisanship is ultimately a good thing for voting on policy, and the current atmosphere demands it. GOP legislators should not be caving on policy issues that their constituents put them there to oppose. Standing on the principles that voters expect a politician to respect is a good thing.
In short, the death of centrism means the re-birth of principles. It means that conservatives can stand for what they believe in, and that liberals can stand firm on their most idealistic positions.
This will only encourage debate that leads to effective solutions instead of virtue signaling via working across the aisle on wishy-washy bills. Bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship benefits no one.
Kenny Cody is a 24-year old conservative writer and activist from Northeast Tennessee. He has had pieces published on conservative news sites such as The Daily Wire, Townhall.com, and The Libertarian Republic, as well as serves as Chairman for the Cocke County Republican Party in his home state. In addition to his work as a conservative writer and activist, Cody also serves as an English teacher for Cosby Elementary School. Read Kenny Cody's Reports — More Here.
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