Disgusted with Washington? Instead of Voting for Someone like Trump, Here’s What Needs to be Done.

I’ve heard that some people who voted for Trump did so because they were so frustrated with Washington. My guess is that a big source of this frustration stemmed from partisan warfare that ultimately leads to gridlock. One solution is to vote for an outsider president, including one who may burn everything down. I’m sufficiently frustrated and disgusted to understand this sentiment. However, voting for wildcard like Trump is not the answer in my opinion. To understand the solution to the problem one must have an understanding of why the problem exists.

Here’s my diagnosis. If partisan warfare–that is, politicians place their power of their party ahead of solving the country’s problems–then Americans must vote these politicians–i.e., congresspersons–out of office–and replace them with congresspersons that will, on important matters at least, put solving the country’s problems ahead of their party’s political power. Essentially, this entails a willingness to cut deals with the other party–accepting certain policies of the other side, while getting policies one really values in return. This is the way our system works–and it won’t work unless politicians are willing to do this. I’m not suggesting that congresspersons have to do this on every issue (although I would be happy if they did), but they need to do this enough times, especially on critical issues, to make the system work. If they almost never do this, they’re unfit for office in my opinion, and voters should sent them packing, even if they align with a voter’s political ideology. This is how to address the gridlock and dysfunction–vote out the congresspersons that prevent the political system from functioning.

By the way, in my view, who voters elect as president will have little impact on this problem. The power of the POTUS is limited in addressing the problem I describe above. I don’t think the situation will get better until voters politically punish congresspersons that almost never compromise and make deals, while also politically rewarding the congresspersons that do.

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