A SPIRITUAL ANSWER TO PARTISANSHIP

SOME YEARS AGO, an otherwise routine interview between a member of the US Senate and a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor took an unexpected turn. After answering questions on various current issues, the Senator grew quiet, then began speaking plaintively about an accelerating trend toward growing partisanship and diminishing comity in Congress. An era of relative bipartisanship, he lamented, seemed to be passing.

Years later, the reflections of a single Senator have grown into a chorus of concern that the deep partisan divisions in the country have come to pose a serious threat to governance. At a time when bipartisan consensus is urgently needed to deal with a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues, gridlock increasingly prevails, jeopardizing needed legislation, taxing relations between presidents and Congress, and poisoning public discourse.

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