Cartier: Republican and Democrat solutions that divide our country are inadequate (column) |

Cartier: Republican and Democrat solutions that divide our country are inadequate (column)

The year 2017 was pretty contentious, surpassing election year 2016, with vitriol comments from both sides of the political aisle. Congress continues to break records in its race to the bottom. The public complains, yet refuses to take responsibility for this hostile congressional environment. What can we do better?

With pressure to spend less time in Washington, legislators find it difficult to establish bonds with colleagues, making it easier to vilify the opposition. Distrust becomes the default position among these powerful strangers. To further complicate the situation, loyalties are questioned when an innocent photo emerges with an opposing colleague. These issues are a result of our own idealistic but flawed demands. We say we want Washington outsiders, but we cannot run the greatest country in the world with well-intentioned amateurs.

With health care, immigration and tax reform hitting families hard, we can no longer accept this bitter infighting as governance. Leadership is a collaborative process, and America’s greatest strength is our diversity of ideas, which combined may provide unprecedented solutions. We proudly call that collaboration democracy.

A legislator’s vision must extend beyond the next election cycle, understanding that sometimes we must defer one goal for the implementation of another. Certain legislation may benefit future generations at the cost of the current one, with the objective being that we pass on a better America than the one we inherited.

Republicans and Democrats (R & D) continue to face off on how to best serve our nation’s needs while providing for a prosperous future. How do we accomplish this without endangering our national economic stability? In generating short-term solutions, do we risk long-term consequences? Would a reduction of “entitlements” be better than the future elimination of benefits due to a collapse of our economy? We saw this happen across Europe.

The history of our nation is the ultimate rags-to-riches story. We believe in the innovative, the daring, the worker aspiring to greatness, the entire challenging journey. The land of opportunity must be protected for future generations.

We believe in an individual’s worth to this great nation; the ability to achieve the dreams of our youth; the diversity of ideas generated by a multicultural society; the limitless potential that has created a country like none other; and the unwavering belief that despite past challenges and current conditions, you can succeed. Although all are not born equal, our opportunities should be unparalleled. This cannot occur under oppressive debt.

Party platforms are simply a collection of common values, ideas and objectives, and if you can incorporate those principles with viable solutions, you will carry on the most treasured aspects of your party’s legacy. But we mustn’t let party rhetoric dominate common sense. As a nation, we must engage in solutions that extend beyond the R & D labels.

While most Americans want the same thing — a strong economy that strengthens our jobs market, thus offering better pay opportunities; the ability to secure quality health care; an excellent and affordable education for our children; a safe environment in which to live; compassionate assistance for those in need; and other critical areas — the primary difference between R & D solutions is implementation and direct accountability.

Democrats feel that as a prosperous nation, we can afford to implement programs deemed necessary to achieve “balance” in our society; that it’s a matter of allocation, which can be addressed once the programs are in place and its benefits justified. The view is that the money is there and must simply be redirected to address the fluctuating needs of our population.

Republicans agree with our country’s needs, yet solutions must be sustainable, anything less is simply cruel. Thus, community remedies are always part of the consideration for efficiency and less government regulation, particularly if increased debt is involved. The belief is that the people can spend their money better than any government bureaucrat and are capable of identifying and supporting their own local charities.

Both parties have honorable intentions but differ vastly in approach. In evaluating, we might consider how we respond in our personal lives to relatively similar challenges. When faced with needs, would we go into massive debt without considering alternatives? We’ve all made the tough choices of where to spend our money, sometimes giving up essentials. Why do we alter our values when it comes to government?

This month kicks off another election season. Our party leaders must begin working together to solve some of our most critical issues, and we must adjust our expectations to achieve realistic solutions.

We are the greatest nation on Earth, and this valley is privileged by environment and a strong community. Let’s be sure that our actions will be ones that the next generation will admire.

Jacqueline Cartier is a political and corporate consultant in Colorado and Washington, D.C. For further information, visit She may be contacted at

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