How Government Works

This piece by former Senator Gregg has a lot of good insight as to why our political process seems stalled these days, locked in some ridiculous all-or-nothing battle between various factions.  One of his best points is about the splinter factions within each major party (for example, Tea Party, Progressive, Libertarian, etc.). 

By definition, the people who gather around those parties or factions are true believers. They speak mostly to others who share the same specific, and often unyielding, goals. They do not see the need to reach beyond those who are already of like mind, and convince or persuade the uncommitted.

We’ve seen these groups.  I guess they think that if they shout at us long enough, we will eventually capitulate.  That isn’t the way to get your point across.  We need to do the harder work of trying to persuade.  We need to gain the trust of the voters, so that when we ask them to take a chance on a new idea, they will.

Most of all, we have to be willing to give something up.  Ideologues who never compromise do not deserve to win.  I’m not saying sacrifice your core principles.  I am saying that politics, like any relationship, requires sacrifice on the parts of the parties involved.

Ask yourself… in regards to that burning issue that you want something done about… how important to you is it really if you won’t give something up to get it?

Always consider the other side, even when you disagree with them.  Gaining the trust and respect of those who don’t agree with you is the way to progress and honesty in government.


About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his 7th term. Rep. Smith currently represents Charlestown, Newport, and Unity. Rep. Smith is the Deputy Speaker of the NH House.
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