Selfless sacrifice in Afghanistan and selfish immaturity in D.C.

Democrats blame Republicans saying that Republicans caused the government shutdown.  Republicans blame Democrats saying that the GOP passed a Defense bill fully funding situations like this during the shutdown.  Both sides claim they are blameless, but neither party has demonstrated the courage and selflessness that those four soldiers exhibited in laying down their lives for this great nation. And the political casualties of this partisan war in Washington D.C. are ultimately the American people.

America deserves better than Democrat and Republican politicians, who only know how to point fingers and accept no responsibility. Our nation needs elected officials who are willing to regularly break ranks with their partisan leadership to find common ground and get things done.

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Sadly, the overwhelming majority of members of Congress vote lock-step with their political parties.  In D.C., finding common ground with the opposition to produce solutions is all too rare and finding fault with the opposition to produce gridlock is all too common.

We need leaders who are willing to find common ground and resolve differences before a crisis.  During the shut-down a few, on both sides of the aisle, have made reasonable proposals to resolve the crisis.  For example, West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchian proposed a compromise that involved delaying the Obamacare individual mandate for one year since the president has already delayed the employer mandate for one year.  Likewise, a proposal by Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Charlie Dent included repeal of the Obamacare tax on medical devices, which both parties agree on.  Both were reasonable proposals that show us a way forward offered by two of the few remaining moderates in Congress today, but they were completely ignored.

The ultimate solution, indeed the only solution, to this sorry state of affairs is for the voters to take charge.  America needs to replace our country’s hyper-partisan incumbents with centrist moderates willing to compromise and put the best interests of our country first.

We deserve better.  Those soldiers who died this past  week in Kandahar and their families deserve nothing less.

Djou represented Hawaii's 1st Congressional District in 2010. He served with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2011-12.