Beyond Party Lines: Reworking “Bipartisan”

By Queion Swift

Last night we visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and saw these words inscribed on the wall:

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“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective”


As we further investigate bipartisan solutions, I found this quote to be incredibly striking. Isn’t this – using our voice as citizens to unite and communicate with our government – what democracy is all about?  Sen. Bob Bennett said in our morning session “the power of democracy lies with the people.” Examining Dr. King’s words about “ecumenical” loyalties, we can understand that as voters and citizens, we the people have the power to break party lines in order to fight for issues that will help us progress as a country and grow as a nation. Bipartisan approaches are really about examining issues from a standpoint of benefiting the greater good for all involved, and not working from a standpoint of political party relations.

If we are to work towards bipartisan work for our new 114th Congress, we must start with interpersonal solutions. If we as citizens can sit and discuss issues that affect us as a country and not merely affect our Democratic or Republican leanings, we begin to exhibit to our elected powers that they, too, must, and are capable of working together.

If we can follow Dr. King’s words “our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional,” we understand that politicians do not set an example for the people; rather, the people as the power within our democratic nation have the ability to set an example for politicians.

One thought on “Beyond Party Lines: Reworking “Bipartisan”

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