The Bipartisan Policy Center believes the most effective public policy is forged through conflict and strengthened by diversity. In the midst of the 2016 election contest, some may find the idea of constructive partisanship bewildering or even contradictory. Fed up with the posturing and bickering, it’s easier to imagine a binary world in which “partisanship” equals dysfunction and “non-partisanship” connotes collaboration. While “apolitical” leadership and “consensus” governance may thrive in countries that lack individual freedom, these gentle myths have no place in a diverse nation with a thriving democracy.
BPC’s approach to policy development reflects the rough-and-tumble aspirations of the Constitution—different people with distinct values and varied interests struggling to develop tolerable agreements. Most people are initially drawn to bipartisan collaboration as an opportunity to broaden support for their original positions. In a closely divided nation, there are no easy agreements. As a result, BPC’s most influential work is defined by a mutuality of discomfort among all participants.