My wife and I don’t argue often because after 30 years of marriage, what’s the point? Most of the time she knows what I think, I know what she thinks, and if we’re ever going to get the basement clean we’ll have to set aside our differences about those Sailor Moon VHS tapes, the inversion boots and my mom’s old toaster.
We are not wishy-washy. I have deep seated beliefs about the transcendent wonder of "The Big Lebowski," people who don’t use turn signals, and the merits of Cinnamon Toast Crunch as a mild sedative. She is equally committed to her dogma about the correct way to fold towels, backgammon strategy, and how the European Union’s economy is best studied while listening to Dixieland jazz.
But for all our zeal, we both agree moderation must triumph or the household is doomed. We must agree on a plan and work together even if neither of us is happy about it.
Like many voters, I hoped D.C. might reach the same conclusion after our bitterly contested election; that brilliant minds crowding Capitol Hill with their blue suits and tiny lapel flags, might find inspiration for cooperation in the rage of the electorate. But less than two weeks into the new administration, neither side is stepping back an inch from the “take no prisoners” politics which have paralyzed our government.
Many Republicans, energized by their big wins, are delighted at the prospect of bashing the opposition for four years. Many Democrats, infuriated by their losses, would rather shave their heads than cooperate with the Trump White House in any way.
And as a result, we will all lose. Just like we all lost during the years of gridlock under President Obama. Because while opposing bad ideas is necessary, opposing all ideas simply based on their pedigree is destructive. Staunch partisans don’t want to hear it, but I suspect the heroes we need now are those Republicans and Democrats willing to seriously consider each other’s positions, to bend a bit, and to make some deals.