At some point, our political divide must mend, at least enough that our government can operate as a functioning democracy. When cooperation is absent we get the gridlock that characterizes our polarized nation. And it may appear, to a dismayed and frustrated citizenry, that politics has become a “dialogue of the deaf, a rant of uncompromising extremes.” (David Van Drehle, The Washington Post, April 25, 2004).
In the political sphere, to cooperate means we must engage in bipartisanship. There is no other way in a democracy to achieve the common goals that produce benefits to society. Elected and appointed officials need to seize opportunities for joint efforts, building on, say, the success of criminal justice reform, one of the rare areas that saw across-the-aisle cooperation in the last year in Congress, and, too, on recent bipartisan successes on trade, budget, defense and human rights — accomplished even as the impeachment of the president was underway.