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January 22, 2016

Trumpís Dangerous Bi-Partisanship

Joe Charlebois

The problem with “bi-partisanship” is that it signifies near unanimity or at best compromise. In a nation of over 322 million, where deal making leads to political gain and citizen losses, there should be very little unanimity and very little compromise.


Bi-partisanship, as it reveals itself on Pennsylvania Avenue and Capitol Hill, only leads to “legislation for legislation’s sake” with the big winners being the politicians who line their political coffers as they push through bills that benefit their most important donors.


Although there are times were unity is needed – as in times of crisis – unity rarely does anything to advance the freedoms of the people. In fact, the more legislation that is passed, the less freedom we as a people have, and the greater the power the federal government garners through taxation and regulation.


In the race for the GOP nomination, Donald Trump has gone after his closest rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R., TX) for being unable to get along with his colleagues in the U.S. Senate and in his dealings with members of the U.S. House of Representatives as well.


It can be said that since his arrival in Washington, Senator Cruz has not made many friends. He is a staunch conservative, who like a few of his counterparts, doesn’t trade in his values for the sake of getting things done. Unlike many politicians that walk the halls of Congress, he didn’t immediately turn in his strong independent ways to do the bidding of the party insiders. Yes, he may not be the party’s darling, but at least he has his principles.


Maybe it is because we are taught at a very early age to compromise, to share and to make sure everyone is happy. It might be because it is so ingrained in us that we despise those who don’t compromise. It could explain why so many are unnerved by Senator Cruz’ confidence in standing strong on issues that he deems integral to the U.S. Constitution. He has strong views, values and principles. He doesn’t see the need to compromise on the Constitution. After all, Capitol Hill is not pre-school.


Interestingly, Mr. Trump, who has always been cast as the outsider in the GOP primary, is actually the ultimate insider. He has donated funds to politicians on both sides of the aisle to – as he says – “own them.” He has consistently bragged about his ability to make deals. He has stated that he will make deals with anyone. He claims to have worked with both Republicans and Democrats in the past, and he is sure that he can deal with both parties to get things done in the future


What exactly is he going to get done?


Senator Cruz has so far survived the arena of Washington politics, which is an unforgiving environment. The welcome that freshman representatives and senators get when the climb Capitol Hill is one in which their arms are twisted time and time again by party leadership for the sake of party unity and purity. As a reward for their loyalty, guarantees of better committee assignments and better payouts to their district are offered.


Senator Cruz has not followed the traditional path. He is the brand of legislator we need coming to Washington, one that holds true to his/her core beliefs. Legislators need not back down to party leaders, if loyalty means betraying their own values or their constituents.


If Mr. Trump wins the GOP nomination, and then wins the White House, will his willingness to make deals – with anyone – lead us back to a more constitutional form of government, or will the Republicans and Democrats take advantage of a President Trump who wants to just get things done? Will a Trump presidency hold a particular set of values and principles or would Mr. Trump sign “legislation for legislation’s sake.”


Does America truly need, or the GOP want, to nominate a candidate who will work with those who are willing to rewrite the Constitution? If Mr. Trump is successful in taking the nomination positioned as a conservative outsider, his memoirs should be entitled “The Art of the Steal.”


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