By No Labels
Look around Washington today and popularity is hard to find. Just about everywhere, institutions and leaders have approval ratings south of 40 percent.
President Trump was at 37 percent in November, according to Gallup poll. The Republican Party was at 30 percent and the Democratic Party at 37 percent, according to a CNN poll. Congress was scraping bottom at 13 percent.
Why the low ratings? Arguably, it’s all the arguing. Its seems in every corner of Washington, there’s a fight to be had, or at least some fighting words.
Provocative tweets and partisan bickering stain the news sites daily. Meanwhile, little is heard about cooperation. In Congress, Republicans are passing tax legislation that has yet to garner a single Democratic vote. Democrats are getting ready to use fiscal deadlines (Congress must authorize funding soon or face a government shutdown) as leverage to press their immigration agenda.
A.B. Stoddard, the host of No Labels Radio, warned against zero-sum thinking in Washington at a gathering of No Labels supporters in New Hampshire last week. “The kill-or-be-killed attitude, that if we have a victory the other side has to lose, this is really leading us down a very dangerous path,” she said.
At the very least, it’s failing to convince large numbers of people that the country is making progress. Just this month, 59 percent said America was heading in the wrong direction, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
By contrast, bipartisanship curries overwhelming support. A No Labels survey earlier this year showed that 8 in 10 voters think laws are more effective when leaders from the two parties collaborate on solutions. A more recent Harvard-Harris poll shows a similar percentage want President Trump to work with Democrats and vice versa.
“We have one system and it depends on consensus,” Stoddard said. “If we throw it away, we’re going to be in deep trouble.”