Russ Carnahan, Democratic Congressman for Missouri’s third district—which contains Washington University, spoke to students and community members Wednesday night as part of an event organized by Wash. U. Students for Israel.
Sitting in my common room a few days ago, a floormate and I were having an intense discussion on the current political scene. The upcoming midterm elections, the Bush tax-cuts and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell were all subjects of discussion and the conversation got fairly intense. It was a liberal versus a conservative in an intellectual battle for the ages.
Ideological compatibility is essential for representation, but citizens should care about more results than principles. Representatives of varying ideological backgrounds make up Congress, making for an entertaining and often-frustrating political process. Small-government conservatives, self-identifying socialists and everyone in between work together to pass a budget.
Americans love agreement. In kindergarten, we are taught to play nice, share our blocks and get along with others. This elementary principle enters our political minds, and because of it, we want bipartisan agreement. A partisan bill equates to hogging the Legos when the majority party passes legislation without input from another party. Many citizens think that the more people who agree, the better, so if no one disagrees with the bill, it must be a good idea.