The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

January 14, 2013

Who says politicians can’t be friends?

Monday, January, 14, 2013 — There was a time when members of Congress actually spoke to each other.

Without regard to party affiliation, they would travel, eat and socialize together.

The late Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, a Democrat, spoke at the memorial service for his good friend Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens.

He recalled how the two of them found much common ground and became fast and good friends.

They would visit each other’s homes, their children became friends and, most amazing of all, they campaigned for each other.

There are other such stories throughout political lore and it proves just how much our politics have degraded into one giant yell fest that has given little or no results.

The late Tim Russert once said a major reason for the downturn in comity in Congress was the advent of air travel.

Times were when Congressional members didn’t take the first VIP jet home. They actually got in cars and drove the sometimes hundreds of miles together.

The late Rep. Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois was at one time the most powerful Democrat on Capitol Hill.

He was chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee which wielded power and money when budget time came.

The Republican leader of the House at the same time was Rep. Robert Michael, who also hailed from Illinois.

When these two men went home during recess, they got in a car and drove the 1,000 miles together.

Along the way they discussed their families, good fishing spots, life in general and by the time they would return to Washington, there might have been some disagreements, but they found ways to compromise and work together.

Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, when needing some help on the Hill, would often place a late night call to Senate Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen.

Dirksen would go to the White House where LBJ would have some scotch or bourbon ready that the two men would enjoy while swapping lies with each other.

Then, LBJ would say something like, “Ev, I know you want those nominees approved and I need votes on the bill up tomorrow. What can we do for each other?”

And, it got done for both sides.

These were people who became good friends and although they may have served on the philosophical opposite sides of the aisle, they realized that to get things done they didn’t have to hate or personally attack one another.

The truth is there is no one party or person that holds the copyright on the solutions to the problems the country faces.

Both parties seem to have gone further to the extremes as they fight one another.

It’s time they start toning it down.

Just as a medical operation requires the skills of several different physicians, so it is with politics.

The need is great for people in office to have the skills of constructive debate, common sense, a moral compass and a large dose of reality.

It also wouldn’t be a bad idea for the public in general to find those same skill sets.

There will be no easy, comfortable or fast solutions to America’s woes; however, it is through the political system our democracy works.

Politics is the art of compromise. No one can promise everything they want will happen and there is no one person everyone will agree with totally.

But, there must be some good, decent people who can do the jobs without rancor or bitterness.

The fighting and fussing needs to stop or nothing will change, much less improve.

Abraham Lincoln could have well been speaking of our times when he said, “A house divided against itself will not stand.”

That cautionary statement still holds true.

1
Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • D.G. Martin Read others’ views to be better informed, decide for yourself

    “I don’t read The Washington Post. That is not where I get my ideas.”

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon This isn’t medical marijuana

    As state legislators debated allowing the use of an extract from marijuana plants to treat seizure disorders over the past couple of weeks, it was evident that social conservatives – there are many of them in the General Assembly – felt a tinge of unease about it, even as almost every one of them voted yes.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Friends and contentment

    Last week I made my annual trip up the mountain to Sparta. My friends have a secluded home near a babbling brook. Their home and property are a haven for peace. It’s a two-plus hour ride to their home that doesn’t feel that long because I look so forward to my time with this great couple. When I arrive, the conversation seems to pick up right where we left it the last time we saw each other.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thanks for the honest deed

    I would like to thank the person that found my wallet in the parking lot of Harris Teeter on July 23 and turned it in to the Albemarle Police.

    July 29, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • We need your help

    Hurray for the Albemarle City Council. Council plans to battle N.C. Department of Transportation’s ranking of all 13 projects in Stanly County to the bottom of their priority list. Council is setting up petitions in various city buildings for citizens to sign.

    July 28, 2014

  • Council asks veterans to seek office

    The terms of office for the leaders of the Stanly County Veterans Council ended June 30. A call is being sent to veterans council members requesting candidates for the four elective offices of the council. A meeting has been set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the DAV building. All council members are urged to attend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Mike Walden The gains and gaps in our economy

    Twice a year, I pull out my cloudy crystal ball and attempt to make some predictions about the direction and pace of the North Carolina economy. I just finished my latest effort and, as usual, the results are a combination of pluses and minuses.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason O. Boyd Yellow journalism takes on new form, people are dumber for it

    Time to get on the soapbox for a few minutes.
    Let me clear my throat. Eh ... hem!
    People are dumb.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Special election adds to the mix

    RALEIGH – A busy slate of judicial elections this November got even busier recently when Judge John Martin of the N.C. Court of Appeals announced his retirement.
    A special statewide election to fill Martin’s seat will be added to the general election ballot, joining the four N.C. Supreme Court seats and three N.C. Court of Appeals races already slated for this fall.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content