STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Like Lincoln, Koch Network stands with anybody that stands right

At a moment of great turmoil in American history, Abraham Lincoln offered sound advice.It was in a speech in P...

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 7:38 AM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 7:38 AM

At a moment of great turmoil in American history, Abraham Lincoln offered sound advice.

It was in a speech in Peoria, Illinois, several years before his presidency and the Civil War; a time of deep political division, with new and uncertain coalitions forming.

"Stand with anybody that stands right," Lincoln advised. "Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong."

It's still good advice today, but for many engaged in the rough and tumble of public policy, it's advice that falls on deaf ears.

The American people are exhausted from watching Washington grind to a halt because lawmakers from both parties are more focused on their own re-elections or scoring political points than on enacting policies that help people improve their lives. It's why party identification is so low: in 2017, 29% of Americans identified as Democrats and just 27% as Republicans.

If lawmakers merely run out the clock on another legislative session rather than doing the jobs they were elected to do, then, come November, many Americans will justifiably ask whether their senators and representatives deserve another term. It's a question that organizations within the Seminar Network are asking right now.

We are prepared to support candidates who champion public policies that benefit the American people. But we're finding that these champions are few and far between and our support will not be forthcoming for those who hang back or obstruct good policy.

Congress, whether under Democratic or Republican control, no longer appears capable of reining in out-of-control spending, ending corporate welfare, or reforming our health care system to provide access to quality and affordable care for everyone.

The recent bipartisan budget deal that raised spending caps by $300 billion over just two years and opened the door to last month's bloated $1.3 trillion spending bill is a case in point. In a stunning show of hypocrisy, just a few weeks after voting for this budget-buster, some members of the House voted for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which stood no chance of being approved by their chamber.

The time for lawmakers to demonstrate their commitment to fiscal prudence is when they are casting votes to spend the American peoples' money. Yet, courage in Congress is so lacking that even on issues with strong majority support, lawmakers remain stuck.

The same holds true when it comes to finding a solution for the Dreamers, immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and now face an uncertain future. More than 90% of Americans say it's important to find a resolution to the issue. And, in practice, striking a deal to provide certainty for Dreamers and enhance border security should be easy. But lawmakers from both parties seem to be more interested in treating Dreamers as a political bargaining chip than human beings with the potential to contribute to our country.

In the process, they not only keep millions of people trapped in legal purgatory, but also turn their backs on one of our country's greatest traditions: welcoming people who wish to better themselves and our country, no matter their background.

Solutions to the United States' failing approach to criminal justice, too, need to be found. Our prisons are bursting at the seams while we spend over $80 billion a year to keep more than 2 million people locked up -- a staggering waste of human potential. For many, their most serious offense is a low-level, nonviolent drug charge. They are often victims of mandatory minimum sentencing requirements that have been called harsh and unjust by some of the very judges who are forced to impose them.

Once released, the formerly incarcerated face poor job prospects and more than three out of four of them end up back in prison within five years. This is destroying vulnerable communities nationwide. People on both sides of the political divide have come together in states across the country to address this problem. Congress, meanwhile, has done little for its part.

Even when Congress agrees that action is required, members tend to focus on petty differences rather than getting the job done. The House and Senate have each passed their own version of legislation that would allow the terminally ill the "right to try" potentially lifesaving experimental treatment and medication. The concept enjoys broad bipartisan support; 39 states have right-to-try laws. But the two chambers can't seem to find common ground and get a bill to the President. Meanwhile, lives are literally at stake.

In the past, the Seminar Network's organizations often limited their engagement to working within the confines of the agenda set by those running Congress. We were even willing to pull punches in fights that seemed unwinnable because they centered on issues congressional leaders did not consider immediate priorities -- like safeguarding our financial future.

Those days are over. The American people are demanding leadership. They have rejected the petty divisiveness that prevents Washington from getting important work done.

In the coming weeks, we will be stepping up our efforts to push congressional action on a whole host of initiatives, including Dreamers, criminal justice reform, right-to-try, and responsible government spending, to start. We will also fight to defend trade, arguably the most effective anti-poverty program in human history. As we engage on each of these issues, we will be looking for allies wherever we can find them -- on the left, the right, or in the middle. We welcome all comers. And we will hold those accountable who stand in the way of progress, regardless of their party.

Like Lincoln, we will stand with anybody who shares this vision and wants to do right - even if it's just on a single issue. Our fervent hope is that even isolated agreements won't just advance good policy but will also help tear down the walls of mistrust and bitterness that have degraded our politics and turned Americans against one another.

Our politics is broken; we stand ready to do our part to fix it.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 177134

Reported Deaths: 2467
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35310570
Washington23704229
Marion20393299
Clackamas15557204
Lane11802144
Jackson10077129
Umatilla800083
Deschutes731272
Linn422263
Yamhill413675
Klamath357159
Polk348452
Malheur343358
Josephine310062
Douglas306566
Benton277719
Jefferson207732
Coos198631
Columbia156126
Union141824
Lincoln130520
Wasco130428
Hood River113529
Morrow108415
Clatsop9078
Crook89519
Baker86714
Curry6049
Tillamook5883
Grant4304
Lake4177
Harney3156
Wallowa1585
Gilliam571
Sherman571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3725088

Reported Deaths: 61193
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122999823702
Riverside2976314547
San Bernardino2951314569
San Diego2756313681
Orange2692584902
Santa Clara1173792019
Kern1080611333
Sacramento1017871651
Fresno1007681650
Alameda856521477
Ventura803601002
San Joaquin717351334
Contra Costa67157782
Stanislaus606491035
Tulare49443831
Monterey43301364
San Mateo41251560
San Francisco36117529
Santa Barbara33926445
Solano32086243
Merced31289453
Sonoma29734312
Imperial28024719
Kings22781245
Placer21957283
San Luis Obispo20991257
Madera16301240
Santa Cruz15719204
Marin13868227
Yolo13581200
Shasta11747219
Butte11619196
El Dorado9797109
Napa971579
Sutter9299109
Yuba612744
San Benito598863
Lassen567924
Tehama544556
Nevada448975
Tuolumne408664
Mendocino399647
Humboldt365938
Amador363146
Lake341843
Glenn235925
Colusa220416
Calaveras206252
Siskiyou196521
Inyo141838
Del Norte12907
Mono12744
Plumas6936
Modoc4904
Mariposa4297
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned470
Medford
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 45°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 45°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 45°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 28°
Warm and windy Thursday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Wednesday, April 21st Evening Weather

Image

Wednesday, April 21 afternoon weather

Image

Tuesday, April 20th Evening Weather

Image

Tuesday, April 20 Morning Weather

Image

Monday, April 19th Evening Weather

Image

Sunday, April 18th Overnight Weather

Image

Raiders sweep No. 23 College of Idaho, extend win streak to 13

Image

Saturday, April 17 evening weather

Image

Saturday, April 17 morning weather

Image

New Southern Oregon Speedway promotors in dash to prepare track