I’m a voter with a conscience—as moderate as they come. Being a thoughtful participant in a democracy requires thorough examination of each and every issue. Becoming the campaign manager for Joe Hunt, a candidate for U.S. Congress, was a decision I made out of reverence for my desire to reignite bipartisan cooperation and compromise as we begin to close the second decade of this new century.
It’s important to avoid organizations that make sweeping, divisive generalizations about one individual or group, no matter how much you may fundamentally agree with that generalization. The Hunt for Congress campaign was contacted by Indivisible Georgia District 10, which invited Joe Hunt to come and speak at the January meeting. Joe, always eager to speak to the constituents of District 10 (a desire which adds contrast between himself and the incumbent Jody Hice), took the engagement under consideration.
However, after some research, it became clear that Indivisible Georgia is not remotely bipartisan, as I had been told it was. Indivisible Georgia’s tagline is “Resisting the Trump Agenda in Georgia.” That doesn’t sound like a bipartisan organization to me. It sounds like a group dedicated to capitalizing on the polarized state of American politics.
Indivisible Georgia is indelibly contrary to my desire to encourage thoughtful and engaging participation in democracy. Opposing a single individual’s agenda, completely and without exception, is not prudent political participation; it’s cheap, easy, thoughtless politics. It’s easy to oppose Trump, and it’s easy to oppose the Democrats. But what is truly difficult—and Cleisthenes never said democracy was going to be easy—is forming unique, fact-based, solution-oriented opinions, issue by issue. This brand of moderation is more commonplace than you may think. In fact, according to a 2013 NBC poll, 51 percent of the country consider themselves to be moderate.
When you indiscriminately oppose someone’s views because you don’t like them, it isn’t bipartisanship. It’s part of the problem. I have my fair share of disagreements with the Trump Administration, but I would never so improvidently oppose every item of his agenda without deliberate, sober reflection. If Indivisible Georgia ever becomes an organization that’s dedicated to finding solutions, rather than just opposing the agenda of one man, then they can sign me up as the first speaker. In the meantime, it’s candidates like Joe Hunt that deserve our support. A deep political divide plagues this country, and the cure is compromise. As it says in Proverbs, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Compromise does not sacrifice values—it strengthens them. But in order to compromise, we cannot simply reject the ideas of an entire administration and call it bipartisanship. We must speak carefully, think critically and act morally. Finding solutions for our common cause is the only way forward.