Vail Daily letter: Bipartisan cooperation
A few days ago, Mr. Cal Thomas submitted an editorial to the Daily lauding the historic opportunity that we had to finally become fiscally responsible. Mr. Thomas writes, “Predictably, Democrats will howl about starving children because they always do.” He is not the first, nor will he be the last, to rely upon “blame” and “gross generalizations” to make some point. And then, there is the “L” word. Exactly what is a “liberal”? He would probably label me as a “liberal.” However, I happen to also hold values that some “conservatives” would embrace, like fiscal responsibility. So does that make me “politically bi-polar”?
I didn’t submit this letter to “attack” Mr. Thomas for his beliefs — to which he is fully entitled. What motivated me to respond was the use of the “L” word. The terms “liberal” and “conservative” have come to be used in a way that slanders and polarizes people who might actually find that they can find agreement — issue by issue. Many people, including myself, might support reducing or eliminating funding for “The International Coffee Organization” — although I really don’t know much about it nor do I know exactly how much the government spends on it. However, there are many people, of all political persuasions, that are deeply concerned about the elimination of health care and cuts to the EPA (for example). Why weren’t these mentioned?
I suspect that many, if not most, people these days are convinced that Democrats and Republicans cannot work together. In many cases, this may be true. However I am aware of one committee in the House, the Climate Solutions committee, that holds bi-partisan co-operation as essential to their purpose. Representatives may only join in pairs, one Republican and one Democrat. This committee was founded, last year, by two Representatives from Florida, Carlos Curbelo (R) and Ted Deutch (D). It now has 28 members. Its goal is to recognize and address the impact of humans on our climate — something that is hard to ignore when you live in Florida. Citizen’s Climate Lobby is a wonderful website for learning more about the possibilities of bi-partisan co-operation. Yes, I might be giving a bit of a plug for it — however, it also has kept me grounded in positive momentum. The most important message that I can provide in this letter to the editor is that bipartisan cooperation is possible — if one takes it issue by issue.