Op-Ed by Jim Bennett
in Daily Herald Oct. 18, 2017
"Congress will keep failing to deliver as long as its members pander in self-interest to the political bases that got them elected."
Here’s a prediction: Congress and the president are doomed to fail at tax reform this year, just as they have spectacularly failed at fixing healthcare.
They will fail to succeed at immigration reform.
They will fail to produce a comprehensive overhaul of infrastructure to shore up our ailing bridges, roads, rail systems, ports and electrical grids.
Congress will keep failing to deliver as long as its members pander in self-interest to the political bases that got them elected.
In a democracy, there is always a divergence of views. Competing ideas are at the foundation of democracy. The intent of a democracy is to give voice and a careful hearing to those diverging views, and then take action for the whole.
But instead of action, we have gridlock. The two-party system is fundamentally broken. The widening and deepening partisan divide has polarized and paralyzed the government.
Because Democrats and Republicans have made compromise a dirty word, they no longer know how to find common ground — the playing field for politics and progress.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress represent the increasingly narrow interests of their parties, rather than the interests of the nation or the interests of real voters.
Example: This year’s debate over repeal and replace quickly became more about making points for the team than making sense or making a difference for real people who need healthcare.
Republicans as well as Democrats who run for Congress pledge to go to Washington to shake things up.
A Republican or a Democrat elected to Congress from Utah next month wouldn’t be able to break through the partisan divide. Hogtied by their parties’ hard-line positions on the left or on the right, they would be ill-equipped to make a difference or deliver results for Utah voters.
Most Utahns anchor themselves in the center.
They are not extremists. They hold moderate views. They want mainstream solutions. And they feel abandoned by the two major parties.
The way for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District voters to maximize their personal representation in Congress — instead of a party’s representation — is to vote for a qualified, competent, moderate candidate; one who can go to Washington armed with real agency to act, without the constraints of old partisan baggage.
Jim Bennett is a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District representing the United Utah Party.