Ken, I like the way you framed this [Reframing our contentious conversations, Ken Trainor, Viewpoints, Jan. 22]. The stance of the parties and major political factions toward government vs. market is pretty pivotal in determining whether there is enough consensus to actually use the power of government for positive results. There are, of course, other polarities that create gridlock (sometimes it's not so much gridlock as it is a vacuum), especially around moral/cultural issues. But if we could get some balance on the
government-market relationship, we'd be a lot better off.
I also agree that Democrats have more people in Congress who take a balanced approach toward the market-government relationship. The Republican right has been making life miserable for the more centrist members of its party, and a lot of those targeted have, over the years, retired or decided otherwise to get out of the game.
I classify myself as an Independent who votes D more often than R because the Ds at least make it possible to remain a D with a moderate agenda. I think that the Ds and Rs have their own internal gridlock or policy vacuum on central issues that matter to me, like family. So I've moved from calling myself a moderate D to calling myself an I.
Answer Book 2017
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