Editor, Times-Union:
I am a candidate for the Indiana House of Representatives, District 22. I take this opportunity to offer a vision for a better political course in our state, and our nation.
Polarization and partisanship have overtaken politics. It is not only evident in political parties, but also in how people relate to one another in society. For some people their dominant world view is rooted in fear and its derivative, anger. Both sides see the other as bad, even evil. In the areas of governance we witness ideological wars raging in lieu of decisions made for the common good. One party is in the midst of a divorce and we, the constituents, are the children watching the conflict play out before us. But there is enough blame to go around. Even in my party extremism sometimes erupts.
I propose a third way of governance based upon an age-old principle: the common good. Those of us who seek and serve in office must make our public policy decisions on the basis of the common good of the whole group we represent. This does not mean every decision will be popular. It is impossible to please everyone all the time. But what it does mean is that decisions are made putting the group first with partisan and special interests pressures, which are always present in politics, secondary to the best interests of the people of the district.
What we need now, more than any time since before our civil war, is a bridge between conservatives and progressives. Clearly many conservatives are alarmed and see our country on a dangerous path. Progressives and young people, on the other hand, see and experience the world differently and view conservatives as out of touch with the world as it is. I propose that if I am elected as your legislator I will endeavor to seek ways of compromise and problem-solving. This means that Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents must cross the aisle and work together for the common good. We may not always like each other, and there will be rancor and partisanship along the way, but the general trajectory must be toward democracy, that is, crafting legislation which aims toward the common good.
The common good in a democratic system is found in the center. Of course, some of us are center right and some center left. For me it depends upon the issue as I view each one on its own merits. Democracy is in jeopardy when extremism becomes the norm and compromise is considered weak. Certainly there are fundamental principles upon which one should never compromise. But these represent the exception in public policy, not the norm.
There is a very clear choice in this election, as there has never been before. I hope you will join me and cast your vote in favor of democracy.
David C. Kolbe
Democrat Candidate
Indiana House of Representatives
District 22
Warsaw, via email