Sunday, December 4, 2011


In certain quarters (Republican party), compromise has gotten a bad name.

To quote the only republican president in the past 50 years not to do at least an acceptable job (Ronald Reagan), ""If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that's what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it."

Recently  Senator Santorum disagreed with Ronald Reagan.  Specifically, he said that if you got 75% it wasn't worth it if the other 25% worked against you.

The problems with this is basic math.  If you get 75% and lose 25%, that's still a net gain of 50%.  Which is better than nothing.  Cripes, it's better than 40% of what you want.  If you ask for $1000 and get $750 but they take away $250 that's still $500 gain.

More importantly, guess what Mr.Santorum - sometimes you are wrong.  Maybe not on this particular issue, but on some issues.  Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but you are not perfect.  Sometimes the things you want to do are the wrong things and the things your opponent wants to do are the right things.   Reasonable people agree to try both and see what works.  More importantly, when you try your way and the entire country's economy collapse, you can lie and claim it was because you did not get enough of your way.

But that still not enough.

You see, when people (reasonable or otherwise) disagree there are exactly five ways to solve the problem.   In all of history, we have not found a sixth.

1.  One side forces the other to bow to their wishes.  Whether you call it Fascism,Dictatorship or Oligarchy, we've seen this happen more than once  Give one side a total win.  One guy controlling everything, ignoring what his opponents want. Sometimes they are a minority forcing the will on the majority, but it can also work the other way around.

2.  Compromise.  You get some of what you want and the other guy also gets some of what he wants.

3. Education   This takes a long time.  Worse the GOP hates teachers and teaching (professors - ivory tower types).  This is a long term project, as in 20 years.  We can't wait that long.

4 Trickery.  This is slightly better than force, but not much.

5.  Chance.  Flip a coin.

Force has a really bad reputation.  In the 20th century, Nazi Germany, Communist USSR, and Imperial Japan all used force to settle disputes   Much of our laws are designed to STOP people from forcing their personal political views on other people.   I am not saying it is never appropriate.  When your opponent is doing something so horrible, you can't stand to let them get away with it, Force is OK.   But things like that require real force - as in second amendment solutions.  You don't do that for simple things. You do it for major evils.  I'm talking about slavery, concentration camps, genocide, that kind of thing.  If you win, it's called a revolution.  If you lose they call you a traitor and or a terrorist (even if you never targeted a civilian, they still lie and call you a terrorist)  For this reason, we don't do it for tiny things - like budget negotiations healthcare laws or excess regulations.

Compromise is the Democrat's solution of choice.  It's how we accept people with such radically different viewpoints into our party.   But the GOP doesn't like it. So, if you don't like compromise, admit Force is only appropriate as a last resort, that leaves Trickery and Education.

Education. takes a long time.   I see you have been trying to change our schools, forcing them to teach your personal political views (anti-evolution, anti-global warming, etc.), but that's only a long term project, (one that hasn't really worked out well for you).  You pretty much don't even try to teach liberals how we are wrong.  Instead you insult us and call us names (socialist) instead of patiently trying to teach us your truth.  Probably because when you try to teach us, we are not convinced.

Next is Trickery. Trickery is not nice.  But I see how that could be your plan.  You want to lie to us, trick us, and deceive us into doing what you think is best.

Finally is chance.  Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting we flip a coin to decide things like Abortion, Health care laws, etc.?   It's fine for figuring out who goes first at a sporting event but national politics?

Hm.  Should we listen to the guys that are willing to actually play fair and compromise?  Or to the guy who either wants to force us at gunpoint, wait twenty years to solve the things we need done TODAY, trick us or flip a coin?

We aren't stupid.  When you say compromise is a bad idea, it tells us that you are not trustworthy.  That you are lying, violent, dictators that don't care what the majority of Americans think.  Sorry, but less than 1/2 the population is conservative - less than a third if you ignore the R.I.N.O. people.

This isn't a new problem, it existed from the founding of this country.  The founders compromised all the time.   They wanted a weak central government - tried that (Articles of Confederation) and realized it did not work.  So they COMPROMISED and gave the Federal Government more power.  Some wanted slavery, others did not, so they compromised on that.   Then the slavers wanted their slaves to count as citizens for census purposes, even though they did not get the rights of a citizen.  They compromised on that too: " three fifths of all other Persons." (source)

In fact the entire Bill of Rights was a compromise.   They are amendments to the Constitution, put in to get people to sign it.

If you don't like Compromise, you don't like the Constitution of the United States of America and you don't like Democracy.

Well, technically you don't like a Democratic Republic, as the US is not pure Democracy.  But you get the idea.  Democracy means we all vote on everything, Democratic Republic means we elect people to vote on issues for us.  And one of the main advantage of electing other people to vote is that they can create a compromise among themselves, rather than having us do all the work.

The problem happens when they start ignoring subsections of their electorate and concentrate only upon what their most fervent supporters demand.  Then they refuse to compromise, only doing the bidding of their favorites, rather than of the entire electorate.

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