Senator. Lamar Alexander (R-T.N.) has recently come into the spotlight for remarks he made on the current border debate. Some support President Trump in declaring a national emergency, while others argue the situation does not warrant such drastic action. Let’s take a look at Alexander’s comments and how they reflect a unique position among the Senate.
Speaking on Trump’s declaration of an emergency, Alexander stated, “What I would like him to do is take another look at his existing authority, and if he has sufficient funds to build 234 miles of wall, to use that.”
He went on to say that “… it should avoid litigation; make sure the wall gets built; and avoid this dangerous precedent that I believe is unnecessary.”
Looking deeper into Alexander’s remarks reveals a rare, moderate stance among politicians on both sides of the aisle. Senators, like any other publicly elected official, serve to represent the people who elected them. Tennessee is a predominantly Republican state with some Democratic regions, like college towns and larger cities. Knowing this, Alexander brought a reasonable argument against declaring an emergency while still holding true to the wishes of his electorate.
In an era of extreme politics, Alexander stands apart as someone seeking to bring compromise. He acknowledges the issues that exist at our Southern border while at the same time calling for reasonable action. Why declare an emergency when funds already exist? Why bypass the voice of the people, the United States Congress, when compromises can be made to accomplish the same goal?
Regardless of your politics, I believe it is easy to appreciate an individual who seeks compromise on controversial issues. More politicians, Democrat and Republican alike, should seek to embody a spirit of unity. Because as Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided cannot stand.”