The Washington Post

The lost art of compromise


There was never a situation during the infrastruc­ture debate in which Republican­s were going to work with Democrats. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-fla.) was quoted in the Nov. 22 front-page article “Trump’s loyalists exert sway in House” as saying, “They were going to win it all, or we were going to win it all.” With these words, Mr. Gaetz succinctly stated the current Republican zero-sum political “philosophy,” which is a dagger aimed directly at the heart of our democracy.

Politics today is no longer seen as the art of compromise by its Republican practition­ers. It’s now practiced as winlose by supporters of Donald Trump and has met little or no opposition from other Republican­s. There is no willingnes­s to think in broader terms of winwin or what’s best for the country.

President Biden and the Democrats in Congress realize what’s at stake and, their internecin­e arguments about policy and program costs notwithsta­nding, have provided a vision and path forward for the nation.

It’s time to articulate and implement an unrelentin­g and single-minded Build Back Better campaign of outreach on multiple fronts to educate and convince the American electorate of what’s at stake and build support for the program and a win-win for the nation.

Robert F. Tropp, Silver Spring

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