The last couple of weeks have been littered with false starts and steps backward in fiscal cliff negotiations. America needs its leaders to find a solution now more than ever, but real leaders have not yet emerged from the Capitol or the White House.
The American people are tired of short-term solutions that fail to solve any actual problems. We need real leadership in this country that can find a way to get things done.
Right now our leaders are unable to bridge the partisan divide that keeps government from solving problems. That's why No Labels, a movement of more than 600,000 Democrats, Republicans, and independents who want to end congressional gridlock, calls for five principles of leadership to be present in the fiscal cliff negotiations. These principles are:
1. Tell the people the full truth. In order for Americans to make informed decisions, we need to know the details -- all of them. If our lawmakers don't tell us the enormity of the problems we face, how can we begin to solve them? When telling us the truth, lawmakers have to agree on the facts. There can't be two different sets of numbers in the search for solutions. It was Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan who said that while every man is entitled to his own opinions, he is not entitled to his own facts.
2. Govern for the future. If we can't find solutions to our economic issues, we put our potential for growth and opportunity at stake. America's tradition of upward mobility and ingenuity is threatened by our lingering economic uncertainty. If we want to convince the rest of the world that we are still a leader, we must prove that we can overcome the petty partisan issues and take control of our fate.
3. Put the country first. The election is over, and it's high time that we stop putting party before country. Across-the-aisle solutions are more important than partisan victories. In this time of intense economic pressure, we simply cannot afford to put anything else before the good of America.
4. Take responsibility. As elected officials, our lawmakers have been granted the responsibility of governing this nation and making the important decisions that impact us all. Unfortunately, they seem to forget that sometimes. Instead of governing, they resort to pointing fingers and pushing blame onto others. Their goal should be to solve problems, not create new ones.
5. Work together. The only way to do the will of the people is to work across party lines to find solutions. While both parties have strong ideas about how to solve our problems, neither can solve them on its own. During this past generation, Democrats and Republicans have worked together to reform the tax code, keep Social Security viable, and balance the budget. While the partisan divide continues to grow, we need leaders who can bridge this gap for the good of the people.
If you're with us and want to see a new kind of leadership in Washington, then sign on at www.nolabels.org. Together, we can make sure that Washington delivers the real leadership that we deserve.
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