In today’s political climate, it seems as though politicians continuously talk past each other and pride themselves on their unwillingness to compromise. Candidates parade their votes against bipartisan agreements and champion thwarting an opposing party’s agenda. This rhetoric and inaction has led to a Congress that pushes through last-minute budget deals, votes along party lines and refuses to compromise. This hyperpartisan attitude in American politics has led to a stagnation of policy and has weakened our federal government.
The national organization No Labels was founded to try and break down this partisan divide in order to demonstrate that effective government occurs when people on the left and right can sit down together and listen to each other. The goal of No Labels is to start a national movement that will result in the presidential administration and both houses of Congress working together, across the aisle, to achieve agreed-upon goals that will solve the nation’s problems. This is not a politically moderate group, but rather a group that prides itself on embracing passionate liberals, passionate conservatives and anyone in between. Party affiliation should not hinder productivity or collaboration; rather, it should be used to enable progress between individuals from across the country. No Labels wants to lead the charge by ushering in a new era of political problem-solving that leaves partisan rhetoric behind and starts to address the issues facing America.
The ambiguous goal of “solving problems” and ending partisan divisiveness may seem daunting, but No Labels has created a National Strategic Agenda to achieve this goal. This Agenda is comprised of four key components: One, create 25 million jobs over the next 10 years; two, secure Social Security and Medicare for another 75 years; three, balance the federal budget by 2030; and four, guarantee energy security by 2024.
These four issues have been specifically targeted because people across the political spectrum have agreed that solving these issues is crucial to American success. No Labels is working to achieve this agenda through a coalition of dedicated representatives in the House and through the No Labels Problem Solver Promise. Six presidential candidates have made this promise. The promise entails that within his or her first 30 days in office, the next president will work with both parties in Congress to meet one of the four goals addressed in the National Strategic Agenda. All of these national programs are beginning to have success, and now this organization is coming to Brown.
No Labels at Brown University is the only bipartisan political action group on campus. We are working to push the national goals of No Labels, but we are also trying to change the culture of our campus. There are many politically active groups at our school who all aim to make Brown, the Providence community or the nation a better place. Unfortunately, these groups often talk past each other and fail to listen to the other side. No Labels at Brown University wants to change this status quo. Our goal is to make Brown’s campus a place fostering true problem solving where people of differing opinions can work together. Working with people of different political outlooks is difficult, but it is the change this nation and campus need. It is time for a new political dialogue on campus, oriented around building coalitions of support to solve the numerous issues we face. Because when it comes down to it, there is a lot we all have in common.
Bryce Campanelli ’18 is the president of No Labels at Brown and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send responses to this opinion to email@example.com and other op-eds to firstname.lastname@example.org.