2ND DISTRICT CONTEST
Our country's politics, left and right, are be-coming more extreme. It's increasingly dif-ficult to find common ground to work out constructive agreement on how to move our state and nation forward.
The situation in Congress is especially concerning. Too few federal lawmakers make a serious effort to reach beyond their party base to take on the hard work of responsible negotiation and compromise. It's vital to hold onto a sensible middle ground if our country is to overcome stalemate.
Rep. Don Bacon, the 2nd District incumbent, has made such efforts to work across the partisan aisle on several key issues, and he has refrained from joining the extreme rhetoric from President Donald Trump on issues such as immigration and our alliances abroad.
We appreciate his efforts in that regard, and that leads us to give him our endorsement in the 2nd District contest.
In the U.S. House, a group of lawmakers has come together to form the Problem Solvers Caucus, which promotes needed consensus-building on difficult issues. Out of the House's 435 members, the Problem Solvers Caucus consists of about 48 members, divided nearly equally between Democrats and Republicans. It's encouraging that Bacon chose to join the caucus as one of its Republican members.
Bacon and other Problem Solver members have promoted practical, consensus-oriented approaches on issues including stimulus funding, DACA immigration policy and avoiding a federal government shutdown.
In that same spirit, Bacon this year supported funding for the U.S. Postal Service to ensure its proper operation. He voted to pass juvenile justice reform and calls for military bases to renamed for Medal of Honor recipients instead of Confederate officers. He has supported promotion of wind energy, pointing to Nebraska's robust capacity in that regard. His comments on race relations and police policy show he understands the country's need to seek racial understanding and economic opportunity for all. Bacon, a former 55th Wing commander at Offutt Air Force Base who also has served in a NATO position, stresses the importance of keeping our international alliances strong and maintaining U.S. engagement globally.
Following his election in November 2016, he could have endorsed the scheme byHouse Republican leaders to block a bill by then-2nd District Rep. Brad Ashford, a Democrat, to enable construction of the new VA facility in Omaha. But Bacon refused to go along with such partisan plotting. That showed character.
A major problem in our current politics is that too many people reject the idea that Americans can legitimately disagree. If anyone dares voice a differing view, the thinking goes, they ought to be demonized. That's happened in this contest as the Democratic nominee, Kara Eastman, has been depicted as outright dangerous. There's no need for such irresponsible claims. The 2nd District contest this year has provided a needed and worthwhile debate of ideas between the two candidates, Bacon and Eastman have ably presented their perspectives, and that's been a benefit to the district's voters.