By Mannix Porterfield
Civility and compromise are virtues sorely needed in the American political system, Rep. Nick Rahall told students Tuesday at Wahama High School in recognition of Constitution Day.
“In this time of heated partisanship and seemingly intractable political issues, when the long-term interests of the nation seem to be subjugated to the politics of the moment, Constitution Day reaffirms the spirit of compromise and the blessings of national unity embodied in our national framework,” the 3rd District congressman said.
Threats by some on Capitol Hill to cripple the federal government unless their tax and spending agendas are approved in the budget debate conflict with the ideals of the Founding Fathers, he said.
“The individuals of our own time, on both sides of the political spectrum, demanding their way on issues, with threats of government shutdowns, and defaulting on our national debt, would be recognizable to the framers in their time,” he said.
“They, too, lived in a super-charged political atmosphere. They, too, had to grapple with their own passions and prejudices and reconcile the national interest with legislative gridlock, filibusters, delays — all the enemies of progress.”
Rahall said he views his oath of office and pledge to support and defend the Constitution seriously.
Borrowing Benjamin Franklin’s closing remarks to the Constitutional Convention delegates, Rahall added, “I would hope that every member of Congress, and the president, doubts a little of their own infallibility and follows the example of our framers to achieve great things for this nation.”
“The welfare of the people ought to outweigh partisan ideology,” he added.