"A wingnut is someone on the far-right wing or far-left wing of the political spectrum." – John Avlon, Author and Columnist
My Democratic colleague from New London quoted E.J. Dionne, Jr. last week. Mr. Dionne, to quote Wikipedia, "writes from aliberal viewpoint." Yet Mr. Dionne extolled the virtues of moderation in his column in the Palm Beach Post a couple of weeks ago.
I will agree that the voting public has had it up to their eyebrows with the political wingnuts on both sides of our state and federal political spectrums. While I sympathize with the general expressions of dismay regarding the split between our two parties, I have always been one to champion the philosophical partisanship we see. If we only had one viewpoint, our democracy would be stifled and there would be no choices.
On the other hand, I have also been one to believe that in many of our controversies, there is usually at least some room for common ground. With a little bit of reasoning and insight, we can usually find some things on which we can agree. Building on these kernels of sensitivity, we can, and frequently do, move from politics to statesmanship.
While my friend portrays the current Republican makeup of the New Hampshire House as a rabid bunch of Tea Partiers, Free Staters, and Libertarians, he does not acknowledge that this disparate group, along with a number of Republican "old-timers", have gone against the established leadership ona number of bills this past year. Their primary concern has not been to satisfy leadership. Their concern has been to satisfy liberty by conforming to the U.S. and N.H. Constitutions. This is the most "constitutional" New Hampshire House that I have ever seen.
As a fiscally conservative Republican, I will vote with the party when its overall positions match mine, which is frequently – but not always. There are some issues where I deviate from the "party line", frequently having to do with social issues.
A number of issues have arisen during this biennium where I reached across the aisle to find common ground with other members of the House. Such issues as the death penalty, same sex marriage, "boutique" hospitals, perceived interference in the doctor-patient relationship regarding abortions, and others have given me the opportunity to express the wishes of the majority of my constituents and my own political philosophies.
I don’t see those votes as voting "with the Democrats." I see those votes as a voice of moderation. I am comfortable with my votes on those issues even if they were not the votes that the Republican leadership was seeking. Listening to the testimonies and debates convinced me that I was right to vote as I did. I was not elected by leadership; I was elected by the voters of Sutton and Newbury.
My challenge to my colleague from New London is to cite the instances where he did not "vote the party line" on roll call votes. It would be interesting to see how moderate he really is.
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