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Are Negotiation Tactics Returning to the American Government?

It is no secret that the American government is mired in ideological gridlock. It does not seem to be a place where people are using their cooperation and negotiation skills, so much as obstructing progress by stonewalling anything that comes from the opposing side. While legislation has always been a place of contentious debate and upholding of party values, in the last decade, much of law making has seemed like intractable position politics, with neither side bothering to entertain the ideas of the other.

There has been a recent dustup in the House of Representatives, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez taking a stance unusual for someone on her end of the political spectrum. In her recent travels to Korea, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez noted the wide variety of sunscreen options that were available in stores. She believes American consumers are being denied the benefits of these advances in skin protection by outdated FDA regulations. She has since begun to advocate for a decrease in regulation on sunscreen, and for opening up the market to more innovations.  This somewhat controversial opinion has ignited fervent discussions about her political posture. Deregulation is generally a Conservative value, and a free market is one of the tenets of Libertarianism. AOC has been an outspoken champion of the Socialist movement, which occupies the far left of the political spectrum.

This seemingly paradoxical stance has raised questions about the often oversimplified linear concept of political ideologies. Instead, this could be an example of Horseshoe Theory, which states that the far-left and the far-right are closer to each other than either is to the political center. According to this theory, there are areas where extreme left and right ideologies actually seem to converge. This is an intriguing case of alignment from unexpected ends of the political divide.

However, I wonder if this is a strategic motive, rather than an ideological one, aimed at fostering cooperation in an era of partisan divisions.

Embracing the Unexpected: Ocasio-Cortez’s Unconventional Move

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known for her staunch progressive values, has surprised both critics and supporters by expressing support for deregulation in the competitive skin care industry.

Finding Common Ground: A Tactical Approach

In an era characterized by intense political polarization and legislative gridlock, Ocasio-Cortez’s approach to FDA regulation may be a shrewd tactical. By identifying a narrow zone of agreement with those on the opposite side of the aisle, perhaps Ocasio-Cortex is intentionally employing a fundamental negotiation tactic to pave the way for more extensive cooperation. Even a modest consensus has the power to foster positive sentiments and lay the foundation for further bipartisanship. If the gears of government begin to move smoothly and elected officials begin to address common ground issues, this move may be credited as a first move in moving into a new era in governing.

Cooperation Over Competition: A New Vision for Congress

Imagine a country where legislators are trained in the art of cooperation and compromise rather than rivalry and obstruction. Ocasio-Cortez’s unique maneuver in advocating for deregulation highlights the importance of transcending rigid, expected ideological boundaries for the greater good of the nation. The popular idea that compromise equates to capitulation must be reexamined. Finding common ground is a hallmark of effective governance, cultivating lasting solutions that benefit as many people as possible..

Rethinking Political Strategy for a Divided Era

AOC’s recent advocacy challenges assumptions about political polarization. Is it possible that her seemingly contradictory position reflects a calculated strategy to foster cooperation amidst gridlock? As they grapple with the complexities of modern politics, perhaps our lawmakers are starting to reconsider whether clinging to rigid ideological purity is the best path to moving forward. By embracing negotiation, compromise, and collaboration, legislators  may pave the way for a Congress that transcends division and ushers in an era of effective governance, even from the most unexpected corners of policy debates.


Cindy Feit

Cindy is a Masters student in the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacekeeping program at Cal State Dominguez Hills. She has a 75% success rate in Small Claims mediations through the Superior Court System. She is a trained facilitator with a background in Education MORE

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