Bury the Hatchet
The antidote to frenzied partisanship won’t be found in politics as usual but in problem-solving leaders who govern from the center.
Despite selecting two men known for their political civility as presidential nominees, Americans in the fall of 2008 have been enduring yet another nasty political contest. By September, both candidates could easily have sung along with Britney Spears, “Oops . . . I did it again.” A bit of historical perspective can soothe some of our discontents. The long-standing paradox of American presidential campaigning is that voters complain about political mudslinging but also respond to it. Repeatedly since Thomas Jefferson battled John Adams for the right to succeed George Washington, the Republic has survived partisan hysteria and citizen disappointment.
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Gil Troy is professor of history at McGill University and a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His latest book is Leading From the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents.more from this author >>