Jul. 27—Our elected leaders on both sides of the aisles politically need to do much more to realign themselves with the middle ground of America and shun the high-powered rhetoric and shouts of the lunatic fringe.
True, everyone in our great nation has the right to express an opinion, and that right is a sacred one that must be guarded. However, during the past decade it seems those who sit on the opposite poles of the right and left have gained new prominence, their voices louder, their dogma more militant.
In the Oregon Legislature there is a clear divide among Democrats and Republicans with the GOP vastly outnumbered and relegated to an ineffective minority. The state assembly political roster mirrors our own national stage politics in the sense there apparently exists a wide gulf between what each side desires. In Oregon, the majority Democrats have the power and use it in ways lawmakers believe their constituents want.
Usually, when major political conflicts erupt, Republican lawmakers face few alternatives other than simply leaving the building to erase a quorum needed for votes.
That means, essentially, that on really critical issues, the normal discourse needed by a Democracy to succeed breaks down. One side gains the advantage, or in Oregon's case at times, one side is left standing alone on the dance floor while the other is long gone.
What those types of actions accomplish is create a wider dissatisfaction that continues to grow.
Oregonians have shown in polls they want more out of this year's gubernatorial race than the usual name-calling added to a good dose of fear-mongering from the far edges of both parties. Voters don't want more fighting. They want results.
Therein lies the problem. Because results are not being measured — either here at home or on the national political stage — by practicable results but instead by which part of the far left or right can gain ascendency.
Our elected lawmakers on both sides of the political fence need to begin to work together and to develop concrete solutions to difficult problems. Calling Democrats liberals bent on destroying the Republic and Republicans as people who want to create some kind of Handmaid's Tale system is not only ludicrous but prevents problem-solving and creates more turmoil.
The future of our nation and state rests on our lawmakers' ability to work through problems. Not fighting.