Without change, divided house is destined to fall
I’m confident this column will be concerting for some — so be it. However, I assume readers desire a stable and responsible government, and yet with politics what it is today, obstructionism and gridlock tend to be the trend of the times, which in itself has caused the demise of “statesmanship.” Few politicians remain who look to the future welfare of our citizens vs. those who subconsciously strive only for success in their next election.
Two weeks ago, former Iowa Senate President and later Ambassador to Barbados in the Bush Administration, Mary Kramer of Des Moines, had a letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register. A strong Republican, I cheer her assessment of what is occurring within her party. Sen. Kramer recognized that pragmatism is the key attribute for those in public service. Yet her astute vision that her party was on a dangerous ideological course is right on target.
To this day, I admire the political demeanor of the likes of Gov. Bob Ray, Lt. Gov. Art Neu, Republican activist Mary Louise Smith, the late stateswoman Republican Sen. Julia Gentleman, Republican House Leader Cal Hultman, Ray administration strategist David Oman and a plethora of others who understood that greater public good could be accomplished at the statehouse with congeniality, dialogue, friendships, interaction with all one’s colleagues and, in the end, compromise on the issues where compromise could be attained. Yes, there are some social issues in which compromise is impossible, for the basic issue is ingrained in one’s being. However, these named Republican leaders, along with their Democratic colleagues, understood well the fact that neither party had all the answers. From a diverse state of Iowa came a varied group of elected representatives and senators. Thus, it was understood and prudent that public policy would be developed that best represented that diversity, and the only way to do so was through serious dialogue and conscientious compromise.
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