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Letter: A failure to compromise

Published: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 5:10 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

That the U.S. Congress is dysfunctional and incapable of accomplishing much of anything today should be intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer. We appear to be two divided countries still masquerading as one semi-united body. It is as though two distinct cultures and value systems are colliding, the result being that a war is being fought with neither side willing to make peace. The media, of course, remind us of this state of affairs daily and tends to enhance the sense of dread that so many of us feel.

In lieu of the bitterness and hatred that seem so prevalent today, why can’t Congress relearn the art of compromise? Why can’t business and government be viewed not as adversaries, but as allies working together to make this country worthy of its reputation (albeit a declining one) as the greatest democracy in the world? Neither private enterprise alone nor government alone can solve all the problems facing the country. But by working together, much can be accomplished.

As long as Democrats and Republicans continue pointing fingers at each other, the longer the chaos will continue. Congress should not be viewed separately as Democrats and Republicans, but collectively as one body, and evaluated in the same way. Maybe if members of Congress could get together, the rest of the country could do likewise. If members of Congress got along with each other, the American people might better understand and appreciate their own differences. Extremists in and outside of Congress are largely responsible for the darkness, fear and uncertainty that so many feel today.

Ideology and extremism have been terribly detrimental to the country. Put simply, extremism is a losing proposition. It is long overdue for members of Congress to acknowledge the disastrous effects of extremism, and to clearly demonstrate, by action, that their reason for existence is public service, not self-service. Our patience is wearing thin!

Robert Prahl

Geneva

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