Conservatives usually get shorted on compromises


Stating your willingness to compromise on political policy has become the latest form of virtue-signaling. I’d like to explain why a Tea Party Republican finds this so repugnant.

When our war-weary founders, who had risked their lives, liberty, and personal finances to fight against the dictatorship of King George, set up their new government they, understandably, positioned it on the spectrum ranging from tyranny to anarchy as far away from regal totalitarianism as possible, with only as much government as needed to preserve the rights to life, liberty, and property. This produced the milieu and standard of living that is still attracting mass emigration.

Unfortunately, the Federalist cognoscenti, who thought they were far better suited to govern us than we ourselves, immediately began using compromise as a major tool to push the marker toward totalitarianism.

They would propose something outrageous, such the Alien and Sedition Acts and when they were opposed by those who believed the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights to be needed protection against trotting down Friedrich Hayek’s slippery road back to serfdom, they would call for a compromise.

Frequently the compromise consisted of two steps taken toward bigger government and more regulation and only one taken back.

Consequentially, we now find ourselves with our backs to the tyranny end of the continuum. Any further “compromise” must be in the direction of more liberty or we are doomed to become Venezuela.

Pam Danz
Peachtree City, Ga.


  1. As far as Doris Kerns Goodwin is concerned, her book about Lincoln’s cabinet — Band of Rivals? Team of Rivals? — was quite informative. Unfortunately she slipped into sloppy writing, poor attribution, lazy editing — hard view: plagiarism.

    Lincoln DID push hard against liberty during what some call the Civil War. Everyone should become familiar with Ex Parte Merryman

    I’ve always been of two minds re TR. OK, he got the parties back to work during the Anthracite Coal Strike, but had to threaten having The Army operate the mines. Hmmmm sounds Trumpish.
    Both of these exemplar Presidents were not on the Founder-side of Liberty. Not as bad as Wilson, but that’s for a different rant…

  2. So Washington, Hamilton, and Adams were the villains of the Revolution for their insistence upon a strong executive? Historian, Joseph Ellis, writes extensively about this. What about Lincoln and T. Roosevelt who both reshaped the Presidency by their stringent control over executive power? Read Doris Kerns Goodwin’s excellent volume on Leadership in Turbulent Times.

    Ms. Danz – It is always preferable to gain your historic understanding of American politics from academically trained scholars rather than Fox News.

    • I don’t think you’ve actually read Goodwin, particularly where Roosevelt is concerned. Her “Bully Pulpit” would fully back Pam’s assertion that Federalism inerringly exploits compromise to grow government at the expense of liberty. And Goodwin is not shy about her Progressivism, either.

      Just like she’s not shy about being a rank plagiarist who steals entire chapters from McTaggart, Lash, Gallagher, and other worthy historians.

      • Roosevelt’s use of the Bully Pulpit to end the coal strike was critical to the functioning of entire American population. I’ll concede that it limited the freedom of the robber barons, but enabled the average American to pursue liberty and happiness. Democracy cannot exist healthily without compromise – exactly opposite of what Ms. Danz is bemoaning.

        It’s an article of faith among political conservatives in America that they are the eternal victims. The 26 smallest states (controlling 52 Senators) represent only 18% of the population. The Republicans have won the popular vote in exactly one of the last seven Presidential elections. Yet the Fox News crowd wails constantly at how they are somehow being mistreated.

        You can’t make this stuff up. Truth is always stranger than fiction.