I have been wanting to write about this for a while but never got around to it – while listening to The World on NPR, which is produced in part by the BBC, I have noticed British reporters refer to the democrats as “the opposition party.” Many democratic governments around the world are structured differently than ours. They refer to the party in power as the ruling party and the largest party to challenge them is called the opposition party. The reason for this is that the parties come and go more than ours and the ruling party often cannot rule by themselves, but must build a coalition with other parties to rule.
As I was noticing this, I began to think about the significance of the fact that we do not consider the Democrats to be the opposition party even though the Republicans have controlled all branches of government for multiple election cycles now. So long as we consider both parties to be legitimate voices in politics then I have hope for this country. As soon as one party starts to act like “the opposition party” by standing for “whatever the ruling party is against” I think our political dialog goes downhill and we quit making progress as a country.