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ICYMI: Rubio, Coons Search for Productive Disagreement in Time of Division

Oct 25, 2023 | Press Releases

Searching for productive disagreement in a time of division

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE)

October 25, 2023

The Hill

We were brought together by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, and the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation. Like us, Sens. Kennedy and Hatch were from different parties and held different views on important issues. Nevertheless, they found ways to work together. Is that type of relationship possible today? 

The answer isn’t obvious, especially when indictments, investigations and shutdowns dominate our political news. We are proud of our record of working together in the U.S. Senate…. However, we recognize that too often in this body, gridlock and speechifying carry the day, not regular order, cooperation or debate.

These are symptoms of deeper, systemic problems. After all, our politics is a mirror that reflects our broader society. Congress is polarized because America is polarized. Our disagreements are not imaginary; they derive from real problems inflicting real pain on real people. Those problems are not easy to solve….

[But] if we, as a nation, can turn [our] shared identity into unified action, we will show our adversaries that “e pluribus unum” is more than a slogan. We will show that disagreement can be productive, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people—messy as it is—is a real alternative to tyranny….

[I]f we fail, we will prove our adversaries right. Let us pray that never happens and let us all do our best to practice politics as President Abraham Lincoln admonished us to: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, [and] with firmness in the right—as God gives us to see the right.”

Read the rest here.