Monday, February 20, 2006

To Partisans: Put Country over Party

Let's not be an "opposition party."

If Democrats approach politics as the opposition, then their purpose will be to oppose the Republicans. For many Democratic activists, this is simply what the Party should do: attempt to derail every Republican action.

But no American should put party over country. The purpose of the Democratic (or Republican) Party should be to make America and the world a better place.

What does this mean for the party out of power? If nothing the Republican Party does moves America or the world in a positive direction, then you have my blessing to oppose everything Republican. But Democrats are blinded by hatred if they really believe that the GOP is all evil. So when a Republican sponsors a bill that is good policy, Democrats should support it.

Let me add one caveat. Becoming the majority party again has to be calculated into every decision Democrats make. After all, even if Republicans put out good policy every now and then, Democrats put out good policy more often than not. If our end is improving America and the world, then our long term means has to be getting the Democratic Party back in power.

Sometimes smart politics means supporting policies that aren't necessarily the best option. Sometimes smart politics means opposing policies that, in a world with out conservatives, we would support.
Finding the balance between being good on policy in the short term and good on politics in the long term is the key to making America and the world a better place.


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