Can Politicians Hold to Principle Without Brutalizing Each Other?

Politicians say they’re willing to compromise — as long as they’re not forced to compromise their principles. As caveats go, this one has been known to lead to more rancor and roadblocks than most. It also leads to more nastiness than voters usually appreciate.

At an American Experiment Forum on February 13, 2008, DFLer Roger Moe and Republican Steve Sviggum, two of Minnesota’s legendary legislators, talked about how men and women in public life can remain philosophically true to themselves and find solutions to critical issues while staying clear of besmirching their colleagues’ intelligence, intentions, patriotism, good looks, and family trees.

DFLer Roger Moe was the longest serving Senate Majority Leader in Minnesota history and now serves as president of National Strategies, Inc.  Republican Steve Sviggum was the longest serving Speaker in Minnesota‘s modern era and now serves commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry.