FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Again, No Compromise.
Late last year, I posted a memo of sorts to anyone who might have listened. At the time, the issue at stake was the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. As I thought back on that post, I saw editors from the NY Times offering their insights on Obama offering the “truth” while Boehner “did not.” I saw the buildup in the mainstream media as the left, hiding behind their bogus claims of objectivity, used words like “reason” to describe Obama, and “attack” to describe Boehner’s reaction. It is clear that we are at a cross-roads of sorts again, and unfortunately, it is not clear that our own Republican Party is aware of what is expected of them. More than ever, the need to stand firm and reject an inch of movement is what is called for.
I considered writing a new memo espousing the same reasons as before as to why compromise is not always the answer and in fact, is being used as a tool by the progressives to slowly encroach on our lives by chipping away at our liberty, bit by bit.
In the end, I decided I did well enough before and that it bears repeating.
I have grown weary of hearing the calls for bi-partisanship. The calls for “reaching across the aisle” and “bucking your party.” And yes, I’m even tired of that sacred word that hushes the most stubborn of partisans: Compromise. Compromise in terms of leadership or lack thereof. Compromise with ulterior motives and double-speak. Compromise that hurts our country, indeed our world.
To some this is counter-intuitive and in stark contrast to the common wisdom put forth by much of the media. But the truth is, moderation & compromise have a dark and sordid past when it comes to governing nations. It gave us “The Great Society,” which ensured generations of poor on welfare and the end of the need for a father. It gave us the “New Deal” & Medicare, which are quickly bankrupting our country. It gave us the Munich Pact and the Gaza Strip. It empowered North Korea to acquire nuclear weapons and is on a steady path to do the same with Iran.
Some would say it gave us the Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation, but that is only partially correct. In order for the founders to compromise with one another they had first to establish that they were immovable in their stance against King George. For him there would be no compromise.
In order for Lincoln to bring the States back into Union, he had to stand his ground firmly and go to war with his own countrymen rather than “negotiate” or be “bi-partisan.”
It is not compromise in and of itself that has begun to wear on me. It’s the misuse of it’s purpose. Compromise does not exist for the purpose of mindless moderation. It does not exist to create friends that would otherwise be enemies.
Compromise is a tool for coming to a common understanding, but there must be foundational common interests first. If there is not, then there is nothing to negotiate if your interests are too much in contrast with one another.
Compromise presupposes that there is something you are capable of or willing to give up, which at times needs to not be the case. It assumes that you can get what you want out of the other side without giving up so much that it destroys that which you were trying to protect.
At times, it is best not to compromise at all — to look at the opposition and determine that, not only do they not have anything to offer, but you don’t have anything you’re willing to give up.
In point of fact, you can’t have compromise if you don’t have some aspects of your position that cannot be compromised. To paraphrase Etienne Gilson, there cannot be tolerance without dogmatism. To put it another way, if I’m offered by a murderer to be killed with either a gun or a knife, I’ll choose to not be murdered.
Take note GOP leadership: This is not time to think about the political ramifications. This is not the time to balance against what others might say about you in a campaign speech or television commercial. In short, this is not the time to think about yourselves.
This is the time where you show us why we haven’t given up on you. The time where you force the Obama administration to own the crisis that they have made. Any claims to an inheritance of this problem have completely lost credibility. It’s time for the rude awakening that the left is trying to delay, to finally and at long last happen.
It is time for you to do the right thing. It is time for you to stand up for us.
Stand your ground.
Hold the line.