There are some decent Republicans

Credit: Politico

I don’t write this to encourage the development of some kind of centrist, bipartisan kumbaya. I would like to see much greater representation of left-wing political opinions in the media and in national and state politics.

But it’s important that we recognize Republicans who are capable of decency and reason. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, for instance.

Sandoval stands in contrast both to the buffoonery of Trumpism and the social darwinism of Koch/Ryan.

Some quick bullet points on Sandoval:

He supports abortion rights
He appears to have supported an evidence-based, compassionate approach to reforming the juvenile justice system.
Big supporter of renewable energy.
Signed pharmaceutical transparency bill that requires insulin manufacturers to report costs of making drugs.

Most importantly, Sandoval is an outspoken supporter of Obamacare. He was the first Republican governor to fully embrace the Medicaid expansion and he enthusiastically set up a state-run ACA exchange.

Sandoval’s moderate positions and collaboration with state Democrats have clearly contributed to his popularity and may very well have helped him pressure Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller to come out against the Republican health care bill a few weeks ago. In one of the few states where Dems actually made gains in 2016, Sandoval was easily re-elected. Even the Culinary Union, which has formidable progressive political force in Nevada, held its fire.

No matter what your politics, it’s important to recognize that the purpose of politics is to realize policy, not to elect politicians. There are plenty of leaders with whom I disagree on a lot but who I at least recognize as people who can be lobbied and negotiated with to produce better policy that benefits everybody. Sometimes, in fact, progressives may find they can get more done by working with malleable moderates than by putting all of their focus on elevating their comrades to higher office.

No, I’m not suggesting you give up the dream of a Democratic Socialist in the White House. But there are some people who can help you get a few good things done in the meantime.