Letter: Politics are both good and bad

Some say all politics are bad. In truth, politics can be good or bad. Once known as “the art of the possible,” given the recent debt ceiling brinkmanship, politics risks becoming “the curse of the impossible.”

Healthy politics requires honest compromise. The recent debt ceiling drama in Washington revealed a myopic stubbornness in too many elected officials. Although they failed, some clearly were willing to endure fiscal catastrophe for the sake of their own political purity.

Apparently, they believe compromise is a dirty word. Quite the opposite! Negotiating sacrifice on both sides is democracy’s strength.

Having principles – doesn’t mean having carte blanche to force one’s views on others. Yes, articulate your principles! But in the interest of the whole body, understand the integrity of others’ positions.

In finding the “middle ground,” leaders demonstrate the values in our Constitution’s opening words: “We the people” – words lived out in our motto “e pluribus unum,” “out of many, one.”

William A. McCartney