Lacey Smith

Compromise

In Politics on May 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Compromise holds a very important place in all relationships. I have compromised with many people on many things. Compromise can lead to many good things.

But when politicians start talking about compromise and “reaching across the isle,” I get really nervous.

I can just hear the protests: “Isn’t compromise what gets things done?” “But we have to work together and compromise to make our government work!” “The founding fathers compromised.”

All of that is true, to a degree.

Compromise is very important to “getting things done” and the United States wouldn’t be a country without compromise. However, I only want my elected officials to compromise if they can do it without compromising their values and the things they promised their electorate.

Let me say that again. If I elected you and you have to compromise your values, beliefs or promises you made to me in order to get something done, I don’t want you to get that something done.

I would rather see 535 federal Representatives and Senators and the hundreds of state legislators get nothing done and keep their values intact than get lots done and end up with the kind of corrupt officials we have leading our states and our country today.

I also believe that you can get things done without having to compromise who you are and who you promised you would be.

Maybe I’m naive, and I admit to never working in D.C., but I did spend two sessions with the Idaho State Legislature. I saw bad compromise and situations that were made worse because of lack of compromise. I also saw a lot of good compromise where legislators gave up what they wanted without giving up their integrity.

Those sessions taught me that if you have to talk a bunch of people into compromising their values to pass a law, it’s probably a bad law anyway.

We need to carefully consider compromise and decide if a candidate who touts his record of compromising is really going to give us what he’s promising and if that’s the person we want representing our voice in office.

Compromise is a tricky thing and sometimes we’re so eager to get something done we end up compromising ourselves out of trust, wisdom, good government and eventually freedom.

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