Opinion

On 2021: Politics is about the art of the possible

The Gazette asked community leaders to write short commentaries reflecting on 2020 and their hopes for 2021

Our American house is divided in 2020. Red team or Blue? Mask or maskless? Shutdown the community or open it all up? Agree on the facts or create “alternative” facts?

Tribalism rules the day of 2020 and I find it abhorrent. We are teaching our children that compromise is weak, moderation is verboten and cooperation will get you blacklisted.

My wish for 2021 and beyond is that local, state and national leaders will find the courage to step forward and provide the public some visibility to a path of working with others in good faith. A path where moderation and cooperation are not vilified as surrendering to “them.”

Politics and public service should be about the art of the possible, not the Machiavellian arts of destroying the opposition. The “art of the possible” must become the goal again: Americans, Iowans, Linn County residents working toward accomplishing tangible goals that move us forward to meet the moment.

After all that we have been through in 2020, let us identify some goals and projects that we can be proud to champion and accomplish. I ask that God Bless America and all of us Americans in this 2021 endeavor!

Brent C. Oleson is in his last term as Linn County supervisor after serving since 2009.

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