Letter to the editor: Reaching accross the aisle


As of late, I am constantly bombarded by articles and televised newscasts where the president and those around him are repeatedly asked to “reach across the aisle.”  Because after all the American people want the president and those with him to “get along.” Moreover, true reform obviously can only come about if both parties support it, because if both parties agree on something, it must therefore be right etc.

To those who buy into the “bipartisan argument,” in its various forms, I wonder if America would have been able to break away from England if General Washington had “reached across the aisle,” and listened to the numerous sympathizers around him. Because after all, the Continental army was cold and starving, had lost numerous battles, and would fight for close to eight years before America was truly free.  

Or if President Madison some 35 years later in 1812, had “reached across the aisle,” and listened to some around him and made peace with the British over “impressment” and allowed them to continue taking our sailors and merchant marine workers for their own uses. Because obviously America at that time was inferior, both in military and economic might to that of England.

I wonder too what would have happened if President Lincoln (a Republican) had listened to the sizable opposition and “reached across the aisle” during the Civil War and made peace with the south and let them go their way. Would we have remained a powerful nation or would we have been so weakened by both the loss of the south and the legitimization of slavery that we never would have recovered?

What would have happened to America if during World War 2 President Roosevelt (a Democrat) had “reached across the aisle” and made peace with both Germany and Japan, and rolled back our military, (as many in the opposition wanted him to do).  Would we have stood tall, or eventually been brought to our knees by the combined and greatly strengthened forces of Nazi Germany and Japan?

Moreover, what would have happened if in 1981 President Reagan had “reached across the aisle” and accommodated the Soviet Union’s expansion and military buildup (as was popular at the time). Would we have remained a strong and independent nation, or would we have been forced into eventually accommodating Russia’s totalitarian agenda by the mid 80’s because we would no longer have been able to stop them?

In each of these instances, we faced a critical decision. In each of these instances, our leaders stood firm, bucked the trend, endured the wrath, and America was stronger!  

Today, the greatest threat we face to our republic are once again $20 trillion of debt, spiraling trillion dollar annual federal deficits and money printing by the Fed to fund a good chunk of that debt. Left unchecked this will very soon now begin to destroy us at the core of our economy. Without a sustainable economy, we will not be able to continue our ongoing war against terrorism in its many grotesque forms. Nor will we be able in the future to maintain our borders, provide for our citizens’ safety, or fund the various social programs that people have come to depend on. It should be obvious, that without a viable economy, America would never have achieved victory during WW1, WW2 or even during the civil war let alone facing down Russia in the 1980’s.

Now there are many in the opposing party that say that spending cuts do not matter.  That we can gradually taper off or simply print more money to fund the programs that tax revenues alone cannot cover (as we are currently doing) or even ignore the issue all together. Nevertheless, these people are ruinously misguided. History’s graveyard is full of nations together with their cultures who did just that, and were undone. Even now, it appears that it is more important for these people to “reach across the aisle,” and get along, than to stand firm, endure the fury and “get it right.”  

Such entities who championed these ideas in the past were not the ones who originally founded America. Even in the present, they have rarely been the ones to defend or maintain her in times of peril. History clearly shows that the cost of remaining a sovereign country is high while the cost of remaining a free country is higher still! Stand Firm! Article five people, article five.

Steven Howard, Monte Vista
[email protected]

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