Why can’t Republicans and Democrats get alongside? That’s a query I’ve been requested numerous occasions since I resigned from the Senate on June 11, 1996 to marketing campaign for president full-time. It’s an excellent query, for which I’ve an excellent reply.
Partially, partisan divisions embody ideological ones. Democrats and Republicans signify completely different views about authorities’s correct measurement and scope. When one aspect wonders why the opposite doesn’t merely give in on a degree that’s antithetical to its beliefs, it jogs my memory of
Robert F. Kennedy’s
phrases: “Those that now name for an finish to dissent . . . appear to not perceive what this nation is all about. For debate and dissent are the very coronary heart of the American course of. . . . There isn’t any restrict set to thought.”
What our political course of may do with out is private assaults, demeaning insults and shortsighted partisanship that may rating factors within the subsequent election however received’t make life higher for the subsequent technology. Trying again on my 27 years within the Senate, the legislative accomplishments that helped Individuals have been the product of negotiation with Democrats. Partisan variations didn’t cease me from teaming up with New York’s
to avoid wasting Social Safety, with Massachusetts’
to move the Individuals with Disabilities Act or with Delaware’s
to move the Violence Towards Girls Act.
Reaching throughout the aisle has additionally been a spotlight of my post-Senate life. Throughout my presidential marketing campaign, I reminded my supporters that
was my opponent, not my enemy. When the marketing campaign was over, I used to be proud to just accept his request to chair the marketing campaign to boost funds to construct the World Struggle II Memorial. Whereas asking numerous individuals for donations, I didn’t care about their social gathering registration, as I didn’t care in regards to the social gathering registration of the troopers and medics who saved my life within the hills of Italy in 1945.
I additionally teamed up with three fellow former Senate leaders—Democrats
—to kind the Bipartisan Coverage Heart, a assume tank that fosters bipartisanship by combining one of the best concepts from each events to unravel robust issues. Instilling our future leaders with the values of bipartisanship and civility is the mission of the Dole Institute of Politics on the College of Kansas.
The real cross-aisle friendship I had that probably shocked individuals most was with fellow World Struggle II veteran
of South Dakota. I used to be chairman of the Republican Get together when he was the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 1972, and I labored arduous to make sure his defeat. However then we labored collectively for many years, out and in of the Senate, to assist remove starvation at residence and all over the world.
Desirous about George brings to thoughts the day in June 1993 when, at my invitation, he attended the funeral ceremonies of former First Girl
When requested by a reporter why he ought to honor the spouse of his bitter political opponent, George replied, “You possibly can’t carry on campaigning ceaselessly.”
All these serving on Capitol Hill would do properly to recollect these phrases. Civil debate and principled dissent are to be celebrated. However you may’t carry on campaigning ceaselessly.
Mr. Dole served as a U.S. senator from Kansas, 1969-96, and was the 1996 Republican presidential nominee.
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Appeared within the June 11, 2021, print version.