CSMONITOR: Taking the Hill: Why more veterans are running for Congress
Military veterans know how to trust in teams and put aside differences in the pursuit of shared objectives. Many see compromise as an essential virtue. And they’re now asking voters to deploy them – this time to temper the politics of tribalism. …
Wearing a pinstripe suit and black cowboy boots imprinted with a gold Texas seal, state Sen. Van Taylor leans back in a leather swivel chair in his Plano, Texas, conference room with the easy confidence of a man who knows where he is going. Barring some unexpected turn of events, the decorated US Marine is well positioned to win the open House seat in Texas’ Third Congressional District, a Republican stronghold in a wealthy and growing suburb of Dallas.
Senator Taylor is proud to be one of the most conservative members of the Texas Legislature, where he’s served for eight years. Endorsed by With Honor, the GOP candidate has pledged to support bipartisan legislation, to regularly meet with Democrats, and to join a caucus of veterans from both parties if he goes to Washington.
Taylor and other veteran candidates understand that, if elected, they will face strong pressure in Congress to toe the party line. But several who, like Taylor, have legislative experience either at the state level or as former congressional staff have concrete ideas for how to build bridges across the aisle.
Bipartisanship, they stress, is not centrism. It doesn’t require abandoning one’s principles. Instead, it means promoting civil discourse and a free, open, and fair airing of ideas to bring about compromise. Bipartisanship is “finding a common-sense solution that everyone can agree on. To be successful, you have to work hard, listen to lots of people, treat them with respect, be innovative with your solution,” Taylor says. “More than anything, it requires listening.”