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Friday, January 18, 2019

Helping Republicans and Democrats to Compromise: Moving from Moral Disagreement to Practical Compromise

Our government may be failing to fulfill its full potential. Democracies foundation is based on the ability of people to publicly discuss and debate issues in an effort to create general consensus. While consensus is helpful it rarely happens. In today's political environment, politicians have been voting strictly on party lines. This may be encouraging encampment and general dysfunction of government that in turn causes other problems when great solutions are squashed before discussion. Moving from morality to practicality should be of major concern for political leadership to end Washington dysfunction.

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Politicians often vote based on values that may not be open to compromise. According to a study in Neuroethics, moral foundations have a significant influence on political disagreement (Sauer, 2015). When people vote on moral lines they sometimes fail to see practicality as an essential need of governance.

To move beyond moral codes to compromise it is sometimes necessary to....

-See the bigger picture of the ultimate goals. Sometimes looking at the "big picture" dwarfs smaller issues.

-Be flexible in defining how one fulfills their moral code. There are many ways to help people and help one's supporters.

-Understand that moral codes are not universal but essentially alike. While the methods may change and moral codes are different based on one's background they do share similarities that can be used for bridging differences.

-Be willing to see another person's perspectives. Understanding another's perspective may help in adjusting your own.

-Encourage across the isle collaboration versus party competition.

-Avoid personal attacks that leads to dysfunctional dynamics and encampment.

-Think of people as part of the same process and not as the "other".

-Focus on research and facts.

-Remove people who can't compromise.

-Listen to outside stakeholders like business.

Sauer, H. (2015). Can't we all disagree more constructively? Moral foundations, moral reasoning and political disagreement. Dordrecht, 8 (2).

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