The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 17, 2013

No Labels

— It all sounds promising.

For all that has ailed Washington, there is a group singing a new song.

One offering solutions to bureaucracy and gridlock that kills great ideas, movements and potentially progressive legislation.

They’re promising to remove political party labels for the collective good of the country.

The group’s new banner is “No Labels.”

Not that they have a banner...

Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike are aligning themselves together, according to the No Labels website that further states: “No Labels does not expect anyone to shed their identity when they join our movement. We are a community of proud liberals, proud conservatives and everything in between who are united by the conviction that people with different beliefs really can set aside the labels and come together to solve problems.

“No Labels is a growing citizens’ movement of Democrats, Republicans and everything in between dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving.”

Is this a fad that will wither away, or can this be accomplished?

Isn’t it worth a try?

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin thinks so.

He is one of the leading proponents of the No Labels agenda, serving as a co-chairman along with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Manchin is currently on a public tour touting the movement.

With 25 members signed on so far, Manchin and Huntsman hope to grow the ranks to 75 or 80 by year’s end, in hopes that the number would have sufficient influence to start seriously addressing the soaring national debt, an item high on the No Labels list to target.

“No Labels is the vehicle that has the opportunity for that to happen,” Manchin said Tuesday.

According to its website, “No Labels promotes its politics of problem solving in three ways: by organizing citizens across America, providing a space for legislators who want to solve problems to convene and by pushing for common-sense reforms to make our government work.”

Is Washington too far gone?


But No Labels is worth a look.

Whether you believe that America has been backed into a corner or that it stands upon the precipice of greatness, one would have to sense a little common sense brewing on Capitol Hill.

That’s refreshing.

“We are unlike any organization in America,” No Labels website promises. “The most powerful interest groups in our nation’s capital work to push our leaders and our political parties apart. No Labels is working to bring them together to forge solutions to our nation’s problems. We welcome people left, right and everything in between as long as they are willing to collaborate with one another to seek a shared success for America. This new attitude is what No Labels is all about.”

An attitude adjustment is what’s needed in Washington.

And with it will come much needed progress for our country.