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Sun Jun 11, 2017, 04:05 PM

About "Bipartisanship"

I believe it is true that "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

I also believe that the overwhelmingly vast majority of human beings are neither entirely 'good' nor entirely 'evil' by inherent nature. We are all human. We are all capable of doing incredible acts of altruism, and we are all capable of acting with tragic selfishness.

I also believe we are almost all capable of learning from our mistakes- although at very different rates, and that capability is much affected by personal, social, and cultural characteristics. But the capacity is there.

Bipartisanship SHOULD be possible.

Why doesn't it happen more often? Especially when we have had such powerful demonstrations of how bad the outcomes can be when we refuse to go there?

There are lot of reasons, I guess.

The most fundamental one starts with semantics: The "bi-" in bipartisanship implies a duality, a spectrum or arc with two endpoints and a middle. It also implies reciprocity and compromise. It rejects the zero-sum model in favor of achieving common good through mutual sacrifice.

Willingness to embrace bipartisan operations relies on both an understanding of the non-zero-sum model, and a minimum level of trust between the parties that the understanding is shared and mutual reciprocity will be forthcoming.

American culture- and the politics that are a product of that culture- has devalued the non-zero-sum model, and profoundly embraced a zero-sum model. This has resulted in the growth of a short-term reward/penalty system based on zero-sum outcomes for almost all of our economic and political operations.

I don't think it's going to change quickly, but it can change with leadership from both sides: Citizens, voters, and party members who are willing to look beyond the zero-sum model and base their support and feedback on more 'reward' than 'punishment,' and leaders, elected officials, and advocates who are willing to take risks and highlight the values of non-zero-sum outcomes and long-term commitment, rather than short-term victory.

It has been a long, strong tide in the wrong direction. But I still hope the shift can happen.

I don't minimize the difficulties, nor the pain of the short-term costs.

But I still hope.

wistfully,
Bright

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Reply About "Bipartisanship" (Original post)
TygrBright Jun 2017 OP
Beartracks Jun 2017 #1
Wounded Bear Jun 2017 #2

Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Jun 11, 2017, 04:09 PM

1. Approvingly, K&R.



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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Jun 11, 2017, 05:15 PM

2. One reason we're in the situation we're in...

is that Dems have been seeking "bi-partisanship" while Repubs have been ruthlessly invoking a winner take all strategy.

Trying to compromise with someone who is willing to cut you off at the knees rarely works.

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