The Art of The Compromise

George J. Piro-Biko, The Millennial Republican

Bipartisanship has been an essential tool in U.S politics since the birth of the United States. During President Washington’s two terms, America’s first two parties were growing in his cabinet. The Federalist Party, started by Alexander Hamilton, called for a strong national government that promoted economic growth. The Democratic-Republican party, started by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, called for a weak federal government favoring small businesses and farmers over wealthy merchants. These two parties soon clashed in 1790, where Hamilton proposed to build up the US’ credit through the national paying the states’ debts from the American Revolutionary War. Jefferson and Madison opposed Hamilton’s proposal since federal control of debt would give the national government more power. A meeting then took place between Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison hoping to end the standoff. The federal government would take over the states’ debts in exchange for the nation’s capital moving to Washington D.C. The Compromise of 1790 is still regarded as one of the most important compromises in U.S history.

Great presidents such as FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Reagan were known to work with both sides on issues to find bipartisan solutions. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to get the New Deal pushed through by working with both Republican and Democrats in the Congress. President Lyndon B. Johnson worked with both parties in Congress to pass The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Medicare. With the Republican Party becoming more conservative and the Democratic Party becoming more liberal, bipartisan deals are unfortunately becoming scarce. Although there have always been partisan divides between the two parties, the debates were much less about party affiliation and more about political and economic philosophy. With Donald Trump becoming president, the disconnect between the White House and Congress has continued to grow. As President Trump approaches his second year in office, it is important for him to work with Congress to find bipartisan solutions that earn the public’s trust and unifies the country. Most Americans do not lean extremely to the right or left, but during elections, conservatives and liberals tend to more successful in getting elected than moderate Republicans and Democrats. A major reason moderates tend to be unsuccessful in elections is that liberal and conservative groups are much more organized and attract much more donors. Another reason is gerrymandering, which has produced more districts that lean conservative or liberal and fewer swing districts that gravitate towards the center. This results in more conservatives and liberals being elected that are less open to work with the opposite party. It is essential that Congress does what is best for the country and not just best for the party. In order for the United States to remain strong and unified, President Trump must work with both parties in Congress and gain the trust of the American people. President Trump must work towards being an effective leader with all Americans, not just his supporters. A true leader is one who can work and gain respect with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

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