A Lesson for the Left

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Talia Protos

Ronin Rodkey ’18, Editorial Columnist.

In a rare move of bipartisanship, the house voted 394-1 on April 3rd, 2017, to move towards designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism; president Trump acted on their guidance and followed through, designating North Korea as such on November 20th, 2017. The move would reverse a failed Bush administration diplomatic agreement with North Korea, and is supported by virtually everyone on both the right and the left.

On October 22nd, 2017, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) wrote a New York Times editorial in support of the motion. Cruz’s writing was eloquent and persuasive. He wrote that, “It is time to acknowledge that North Korea may never be interested in negotiating away its nuclear deterrent…We must tell the truth about the dangerous ambitions of North Korea and once again list it as a state sponsor of terrorism, a move that only strengthens our hand and weakens that of Kim Jong-un.”

If we want to make bipartisan progress on issues like health care, gun control, or climate change, Democrats must not always oppose everything that Republicans support, and vice-versa. Only then can we move forward as a country.

Cruz’s arguments were rational, yet his name drove liberal readers of the New York Times into attack mode. Walter of Station, Texas, wrote in response to the article on Facebook, “Who are the morons who voted this guy into office? Yes, you are a moron if you voted Ted Cruz for senate, GOP nominee, or even school council.” Bennie, also a Texas Resident, wrote of Senator Cruz, “He’s the Bible thumping version of Trump [and] anyone would be foolish to take him seriously.”

People like Walter and Bennie would likely change their minds had they known about the house vote, or had they known that a dozen senators—six of them Democrats—had recently worked together to send a letter to the State Department asking that North Korea be re-listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Indeed, the response to Cruz’s editorial is a microcosm of a much larger national issue. People on both the right and the left must work harder to better understand what policy they support. They must understand members of other political parties can be correct.

Bear no mistake, Senator Cruz is no moron: a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law, his political writings and speeches are well-thought-out and articulate, even if they are sometimes reprehensible.

It is impossible to make pass laws in this country if we do not recognize these facts and work towards compromise. If we want to make bipartisan progress on issues like health care, gun control, or climate change, Democrats must not always oppose everything that Republicans support, and vice-versa. Only then can we move forward as a country.

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