The Virtues of Compromise

Political extremism has usurped compromise. This is unfortunate because in the absence of a universally accepted hierarchy of principles, the choice is: compromise forged in the crucible of Congress, or dictatorship by a superior person who thinks he knows what's best for us. Those superior people can often be problematic -- as the darker episodes in human history reveal, extremism thrives in dictatorships where individuality is swallowed by the absolutist imperatives of the state. But where freedom prevails, our individuality embroiders a rich tapestry of cultures woven together by the thread of compromise. Compromise encourages wider participation and engenders goodwill. By compromising, we strike a balance between competing interests and achieve a degree of cohesion in an otherwise pluralistic society. Only rare circumstances, usually involving national security, warrant uncompromising steadfastness. Ronald Reagan, for example, was sometimes derided by political shrinking...(Read Full Article)