To The Editor:

Our system of governance was founded on compromise; a bridging between parties for the greater good. Yet, today, we often elect representatives from both sides of the aisle who are less likely to compromise than ever. As recent decades have demonstrated, until this bridge is rebuilt, it is unlikely that we’ll see long-term progress on many issues crucial to our nation. 

As voters, we need to recognize our contribution to this reality. Few issues are binary today; we need to stop treating them as such. We need to think more deeply about the repercussions of electing polarizing candidates who represent the “far” from either side. Uncompromising ideals are dangerous and limiting in a diverse and large democracy.  

The difference between the successful progressive movement of the early 20th century and today’s movements, are that the former bridged party lines while today’s divide. Progress towards the greater good requires embracing unifying common goals and values. In this vein, consider candidates who understand the value of working to bridge party lines. Even if you find that you don't agree with such a candidate on every topic, encouraging both parties to see that the only path to true progress requires compromise and systemic change makes them worth your vote.  

Ian Buchanan
Waitsfield and East Montpelier