Editorial: Finding middle ground

Jan. 08, 2013 @ 08:43 PM

Jones Street in Raleigh will crank up again today, although not in earnest. They’ll gather to elect leaders and set up rules.

On Jan. 30, the session kicks into high gear. Without a doubt, the Republican-led forces will be trying to establish themselves even further now that Pat McCrory occupies the governor’s mansion.

Our hope is that the politics of the nation, the disarray and frustration that envelops all of us, will serve as a guide. While the GOP is clearly on a momentum swing in our state, it is rudderless on the national level.

The inability of parties to lead, whether here in the longleaf pines or abroad from coast to coast, is a familiar refrain we’re finding tiresome. No, they won’t agree — that’s why they are different parties. But yes, they can find common ground to scratch out strategies for the benefit of us all.

Rep. Jim Crawford, the Oxford Democrat, won’t be headed to Raleigh today. He was one of the Gang of Five with Rep. Bill Owens of Elizabeth City, Rep. Dewey Hill of Columbus County, Rep. Bill Brisson of Bladen County and Rep. Tim Spear of Washington County who crossed party lines on key votes. We don’t believe that ultimately sealed his fate, but the actions he and the other four took could be viewed as part of the remedy for our elected leadership.

“The parties have split so bad that the wings are controlling the parties,” Crawford said of the state situation. “So the middle that ought to be running things is not running them anymore. It’s a great divide, and it’s not good.

“That gets very bitter. Our caucus, instead of wanting to get along and work things out with people, wanted to fight everything that came up. And Republicans were the same way. They wanted to throw hand grenades. That’s no way to govern. You need to get everybody’s good ideas to work together, and if somebody has a good idea, you need to work together to pass it, not fight it just because it’s somebody else’s idea.”

We agree. In this instantaneous age of information, every syllable magnified and scrutinized, our government leaders must return to finding middle ground, not standing at highest opposite peaks.