Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Does Congress need a Reconciliation Commission? Does Congress need a Reconciliation Commission?

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Blogs

Does Congress need a Reconciliation Commission?

South Africa worked to heal the deep wounds of apartheid with Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, public venues that brought victims, offenders and the affected community together to identify and address harms. The principles of restorative justice - which include accepting responsibility, expressing a sincere apology and involving all stakeholders to seek a resolution - can work in venues other than post-conflict societies, restorative justice advocates say. 

Could those principles also work to heal the polarized, dysfunctional, and wildly unpopular U.S. Congress?

Acceptance of responsibility and a sincere, heartfelt apology can be an important first step to dispute resolution, psychologists and negotiation experts say. But this first step presents a problem: In Congress these days, it's tough to see who should be apologizing to whom. 

- Should the party leaders step forward to apologize to the American people, for leading the partisan squabbles and parliamentary maneuvers that have brought Congressional activity to a standstill?

- Should the party leaders apologize to their caucuses, for asking members to vote against their consciences? Or should members apologize to their leaders, for holding up legislation with 'Nay' votes? 

- Should the American people apologize to each other, for voting into office a group that they now overwhelmingly disapprove of?

What do you think? Who is most to blame for Congressional gridlock? Who should step up to apologize first?

DON'T MISS TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Chock full of usable information on today's issues."

Michael, Executive Director

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy , Director of Communications

Great way to keep up with Washington"

Ray, Professor of Economics

Sign up form for the newsletter
MORE FROM NATIONAL JOURNAL