i heard grover norquist make an interesting comparison the other day. i was watching a debate sponsored by the american enterprise institute, between him and ross douthat, columnist for the new york times.
grover compared democrats and republicans as two groups going in opposite directions, one hellbent on going east, and the other hellbent on going west. his point was that in such a circumstance, there is ‘no compromise’ there is instead a winner and a loser. to quote him ‘we won, they lost.’ he was referring to the failure of the super-committee.
grover’s choice of analogy concerned me. yes both sides have differing opinions and thank god they do. differences of opinions are healthy for the very reason that they allow a middle ground to be drawn within which the two sides can agree upon an acceptable solution to a problem and move forward; and grow. if one side or the other refuses to give in for the sake of winning, then both sides have lost because progress is stunted. in this case, the inability to compromise and move forward is stunting our nation drastically.
grover’s mindset of winning/losing and the inability to compromise is deeply disturbing. the pretense of an ‘us vs. them’ narrative is dangerous. a house divided will not stand.
the other thing that concerns me is this: why does someone like grover have so much sway over our elected officials? he is after all only a lobbyist, yet he has an amazing influence over the people we elect to office. shouldn’t our leaders be influenced by our vote and the general welfare of our nation rather that to a lobbyist? yes they should. they are mandated to do so. yet they are refusing to do their job. anywhere in america one would get fired for refusing to do their job.