September 29, 2011
Some people talk as though "compromise" is inherently good. This was especially apparent during the debt "ceiling" debate back in July. The general meme being "those Tea Party jerks won't compromise". I get it. Be nice. Listen to the other side. Don't just close your eyes and stomp your feet until you get your way. But whether or not compromise is desirable depends entirely on what the two sides are asking.
If I were in office and asked about it, I'd say something like this:
If I want to listen to heavy metal and you want to listen to country music, we can compromise. Maybe we take turns. Maybe we each put on headphones. Whatever. But if I want to listen to heavy metal and you want to force me to buy and listen to country, there's no need for compromise.
That's exactly the type of thing we're talking about here. I want each of us to be free to run our own lives. You want to tell me what to invest in, what appliances to put in my house, what chemicals are OK to put in my body, and on and on the list goes.
So, no. I won't compromise. You can take your compromise, roll it up tight, and cram it up your ass.
Both sides in this conflict want control of individuals. (By the individual himself or the state.) In that context, how are we supposed to compromise? By giving up a little bit of control? That doesn't work.
Let's say we begin with absolute control over ourselves. We get together and negotiate with some socialists every 5 years for a century. In every meeting, we compromise with them but we don't even meet them halfway because we're greedy assholes. We demand a 75-25 split in our favor. Or better yet, let's say the other side only asks for 50% more control each time instead of 100%. On this basis, they claim (and maybe even believe) that it's not socialism. So we meet them halfway, which again amounts to keeping 75% of our freedom. They only get 25% control. We're winning, right? No.
At the end of the century, the socialists would have 99.68% of what they wanted. This is what your freedom looks like when libertarians and socialists compromise:
While that's a colossal oversimplification, it actually describes the last century pretty well. I often wonder why liberals get so upset. The way I see it, they get everything they want through repeated negotiation. Maybe not right away, but eventually.
A pendulum analogy is pretty common. I've heard many a liberal bitch that the pendulum swung way to the right under Reagan. Bullshit. The pendulum accelerates left and right (speeding up and slowing down in other words), but it swings left. Always. It doesn't alternate between more and less government control. It alternates between 30% more and 70% more.
So, screw compromise. We're heading over a cliff and you think we should argue over how fast to go. We need to turn around!