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Reader Opinion: Back to democracy

Last week I attended a Rosenmeier Center Forum in Nisswa to hear Lori Sturdevant and Dave Durenberger talk about a new book. The book was about the value of the progressive faction of the Republican Party in the middle years of the 20th Century here in Minnesota. The focus then was about finding workable solutions to social problems that worked for an entire society. It was about the process of debate, discussion and compromise and not about partisanship.

Both the presenters and audience seemed to regret the loss of that productive process and cooperative politics as well as those kinds of politicians in both parties. This was seen not simply as an exercise in nostalgia but as an antidote to the dysfunction of the political process in the last few decades in which obstructionism and partisanship seem to rule the day and prevent any real progress on public issues dealing with the basic health of the governance of this nation.

Rigid positions and ideologic purity rather than any attempt at community and compromise seem the way business is currently done.

The gist of the program seemed to be that we must find a way back to democracy—to legislatures and a Congress that, once again practice unifying and truly democratic debate and compromise to find solutions that take our nation back to its heritage of serving, and truly representing, the citizens of Minnesota and the nation.

Bob Passi