Can Unacceptable Compromises Prevail?

Commentary No. 492, March 1, 2019

Every compromise has losers.

Every compromise has dissenters.

Every compromise includes a betrayal. Yet no political struggle can end without a compromise. Compromises do not last forever and often only briefly. Yet there exists no alternative to making them in the short run.

In the short run, we are all seeking to minimize the pain. Minimizing the pain requires a compromise so that assistance to those who need it can be given. But the compromise does not solve any problem in the long run. So, in the middle run (more than three years) we have to pursue a solution without compromise. It is all a matter of timing – the very short run versus the middle run.

If we don’t compromise in the short run, we hurt the people who are weakest. If we do compromise in the middle run, we hurt the people who are weakest. It’s an impossible game which we all have to play.