How To 4C It.
Coalition, Collaboration, Compromise, Consensus
Political parties in the United States are typically broad coalitions that bring together disparate groups to win elections. A coalition is a temporary alliance of people, factions, parties or nations. In the U S two party system, the parties are authorized, or at least expected, to collaborate: to work together in an intellectual effort, to cooperate reasonable.
A working democracy requires both disagreement and agreement. Agreement usually occurs through compromise and consensus. Compromise is a settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions. Consensus is general agreement, a view reached by a group as a whole, or by majority will. You could say that collaboration and compromise are the foundation of a successful democracy in its efforts to arrive at common ground to achieve the common good. You could say that, but is it true of today’s democracy?
It seems hard to find a coalition in either one of today’s political parties. I think it is possible to say that at least one political party today has no intention of engaging in collaboration and compromise to arrive at common ground to achieve the common good. Some would probably say that is the case for both political parties. If either one of those opinions is true, the future of American democracy is not bright. And the definition and description of a successful working democracy needs to be reviewed out loud.
In some other parts of the world, when two parties or factions disagree, they go to war. In America, when two political parties disagree, they continue to disagree. In today’s presidential campaign, disagreement is the key, even within each political party. Disagreement is healthy, often necessary; but in a democracy if it is resolved peacefully, it is usually done with collaboration, compromise and consensus.
To some politicians collaborate is a dirty word. Compromise is dirtier. The democratic concepts of collaboration, compromise, common ground and common good speak to the search for outcomes that are to the advantage or benefit of all people in society or in a group — for the general welfare. These desired outcomes should be the purpose of political decision making. It seems that the purpose of today’s political decision making is disagreement. What is the future of democracy in America?
With luck, the coming election will unclog our governmental arteries. Robert Reich
If luck is required to unclog our governmental arteries, how do we promote luck? Or how do we unclog governmental arteries by promoting coalition, collaboration, compromise and consensus?