Jan. 10, 2011
Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement by Secretaries Dan Glickman and Dirk Kempthorne, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Democracy Project, on the shooting in Tucson, Arizona:
“We were shocked, like much of Washington and the nation, by the terrible act of violence that occurred in Tucson on Saturday. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the other innocent victims of this senseless attack, and their families. The open nature of our American democracy is fundamental, and we regret that this shocking event took place as the Congresswoman was doing what public servants revere most - reaching out to her constituents on a personal level.
“While we do not yet know and may never fully understand the motives of the assailant, this unfortunate event has spurred a larger conversation on the state of our nation and our government. As we and others grieve for those affected by this horrific tragedy, we hope this will not be a moment for finger-pointing, but rather a time of renewed focus on our political discourse. In times of crisis, no matter how terrible the circumstances, we must come together as Americans and directly confront our challenges.
“Our nation needs solutions, not Republican solutions or Democratic solutions, but the best possible solutions to solve our most serious challenges. The debates that divide the parties will continue, as indeed they should, but Americans and our politicians must find civil ways to disagree, recognizing that we share the common goal of moving the nation forward. We encourage our former colleagues to provide concrete opportunities for members of Congress to get to know each other and interact with those across the political aisle, building relationships that transcend party lines. We hope to see a constructive dialogue develop between the two parties, and we encourage Congress and the media to take steps to improve the level of civility in American politics.”
Secretaries Glickman and Kempthorne co-chair The Democracy Project with AOL co-founder Steve Case.
Democracy Project, Bipartisanship