To the editor:
That seems like a reasonable request at first blush. However, what does that seemingly innocent phrase really suggest?
The political environment today is replete with such dialogue. The Democrats are urging the Republicans to "compromise" on the issue of taxes. If however the issue of taxes is a principle with the Republicans then that simple request requires that the Republicans compromise on their principles.
Can one compromise on "honesty?" No. Being a little bit dishonest is like being a little bit pregnant. Either you are or you are not. Compromise, principles, and honesty, are all ingredients of integrity and ethics. Who would admit to compromising their integrity or ethics?
We hold politicians to a very low threshold where these commodities are involved yet shouldn't the politicians exhibit these qualities to the fullest? We accept the premise that this lack of solid principles is fundamental to the career of politics yet we elect these same politicians based upon their pre-election rhetoric that they would hold inviolate their principles. And so when they do, the other side vilifies them for their convictions. There appears to be a contradiction in place. If you wish for your party to adhere to their principles how can you demand that the other side abandon theirs?
And so we can see the dilemma facing both parties in matters of spending and taxes. How far will you accept your party to surrender its principles in the spirit of compromise or negotiations? If this makes you feel a bit uncomfortable then perhaps you can begin to understand how our elected representatives feel. Perhaps what is needed is for both sides not to plant their feet too firmly in one camp or the other.
If their principles were constructed without hard lines of demarcation then compromise need not massage principles at the table of negotiations.
We can only wish for such things to be a reality.