He understood that we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves — and he really did, I felt; he really understood it — and that “compromise” isn’t a dirty word, it’s the cornerstone of our democracy. Consensus is required in a democracy to get anything done. That’s how you get things done. Again, listen to Bob Dole’s words, not mine. I’m quoting him again: “I learned that it is difficult to get anything done unless you can compromise — not your principles, but your willingness to see the other side. Those who suggest [that] compromise is a sign of weakness misunderstand the fundamental strength of…democracy.” End of quote. In his final days, Bob made it clear that he was deeply concerned about the threat to American democracy, not from foreign nations but from the divisions tearing us apart from within. And this soldier reminded us, and I quote, “Too many of us have sacrificed too much in defending that freedom from foreign adversaries to allow our democracy to crumble” in a state — “under a state of infighting that grows more unacceptable” day by day. Grows more unacceptable day by day. He wrote this when he knew his days were numbered — in small numbers.