Much has been written about the political status quo. Civility now seems nearly impossible. There is no longer a sense that political parties are opponents, but enemies, and not just enemies, but blood-enemies that must be utterly destroyed. I would argue this attitude is prevalent on the Left.
Perhaps I delude myself, as I don’t see things that way. I, as I suspect is true with most normal Americans, am concerned primarily with living life, doing my work well, meeting my personal and professional obligations, and doing what I can, through this scruffy little blog and otherwise, to honor my oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution. I have no ill will toward those that hold differing views, nor do I intend to take any direct action against them unless they force me to do that. I certainly express my opinion about the issues of the day, which is, of course, the right of any American. Unfortunately, many on the Left argue that mere words are violence, which gives them license to use actual violence against others for merely expressing their opinion.
As regular readers know, I deal with such issues in my continuing Second Civil War series. Some suggest merely raising the possibility of a civil war is inflammatory, but it appears the nation is already aflame, as The Washington Examiner reports:
Partisan political division and the resulting incivility has reached a low in America, with 67% believing that the nation is nearing civil war, according to a new national survey.
‘The majority of Americans believe that we are two-thirds of the way to being on the edge of civil war. That to me is a very pessimistic place,’ said Mo Elleithee, the executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.
Pessimistic, perhaps, but sadly, also realistic.
While it found that 87% are frustrated with the rudeness in politics today, it also revealed that the public really isn’t interested in traditional compromise. For example, a nearly equal 84% said that they are ‘tired of leaders compromising my values and ideals.’
We’ll get to the topic of this article—compromise—shortly.
Elleithee explained, ‘It seems to me what they’re saying is, ‘I believe in common ground, it’s just that common ground is where I’m standing. As soon you move over to where I am, we’ll be on common ground.’
Of course, President Trump must be responsible for everything wrong with, well, everything:
Both pollsters noted that the public blames social media, the news media, and President Trump for the growing division.
But Goeas, not a fan of the president’s, said he believes that Trump didn’t start the rudeness in today’s politics. ‘He is a symptom of where we are, not ‘the’ disease,’ he said, adding, ‘One of the things that I have focused on as we have gone into this death spiral of incivility in the country, that we had to be at a certain point for Trump to become acceptable.’
Why can there be no compromise? We’re not quite at that point yet. Even in Washington, compromise is sometimes possible, even with the do-nothing-but-attack-Trump-and-normal-Americans-Congress. There are some things the Left absolutely must do to avoid political doom. I’d argue with Goeas only in that Mr. Trump was elected to drain the swamp, which consists primarily of leftist alligators, but not exclusively leftist alligators. He was elected because conventional politicians have failed Americans so badly, but a very significant factor in his election is he wasn’t, and isn’t, Hillary Clinton.
Compromise. Everyone gives something to obtain something worthwhile for the American people. This requires, at the congressional level a number of attitudes and beliefs:
1) One’s opponents aren’t, by default, enemies.
2) One’s opponents aren’t, by default, evil personified.
3) One’s ego must be sublimated to the public good.
4) One’s political fortunes are secondary to the public good.
5) No one has a right to be a public representative for life.
6) The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, which means some things, no matter how much one might want them, and no matter how sincerely one thinks them a good thing, are out of bounds.
7) A good idea is a good idea regardless of who thinks of it.
8) There is little limit to what might be accomplished if one doesn’t care who gets the credit.
9) The temptation to harm others and to wreak revenge on them must be resisted.
10) One must believe in, and act upon, American constitutionalism, which holds the Constitution is the center of our national survival, and which always honors the legitimate, lawful transfer of political power.
I trust, gentle readers, you see the problem? This list, admittedly hardly comprehensive, if adhered to by our representatives, would go a very long way toward securing sanity in Congress. Why, things might actually get done!
As an additional thought exercise, which party, taken as a whole, believes in and practices any significant number of the beliefs on this list? Obviously, it’s a matter of degree. Some Republicans are as much a part of the Deep State as D/S/Cs are. The New York Times, a former newspaper and a significant D/S/C propaganda organ, has only just gotten around to admitting the Deep State exists, and only to assert Deep Staters are the only true patriots, working assiduously to save the Republic. Apparently such salvation is to be gained by destroying the Constitution, prosperity, liberty in general, and by taking as much money from normal Americans as the Deep State pleases.
Once more, assess the proportions of Deep State, unelected bureaucrats that are D/S/Cs compared to Republicans. If we consider that the number of D/S/Cs in newsrooms is 90% or greater, and the same is true of the faculties of most, if not all, of America’s universities and colleges, we might have a reasonable basis for determining the general political leanings of the Deep State. Considering what is likely soon to be learned from the investigations of the Inspector General and the DOJ about their machinations in acting as #The Resistance, I suspect those newsroom and college proportions will hold true in the federal government as well.
Of the ten beliefs I’ve listed, number 10, the reverence for American Constitutionalism, is perhaps the most important, and when considering whether compromise is possible, the most telling. There seems little doubt which party actually believes in and practices American Constitutionalism to any real degree. The D/S/C Party has, since before Donald Trump’s election, done everything it could to prevent that election, and to overturn it thereafter. They have held secret, star chamber hearings in the basement of the capital to try to thwart the people’s will. A Leftist federal judge has given them access to secret grand jury proceedings, which could not support criminal charges against the President, but which may be useful in phony impeachment charges, or at the least, in preventing his reelection. Now, they propose a pseudo-open, politically rigged impeachment inquiry with inadequate due process. Not a single Republican voted for it, but two Democrats voted against it.
Partisan impeachment is destructive to our system and dangerous to our national survival.
This is where the inability to compromise comes in. D/S/Cs want to badly compromise the First Amendment, not only its speech, but its religious freedom clauses. I’ll not bother providing examples. They are as obvious as they are voluminous. How does one compromise free speech? How does one compromise freedom of religion? How does one do either without fundamentally changing the nature of the republic?
D/S/Cs want to eliminate the Second Amendment, and they’re willing to kill Americans to accomplish it. This too needs no examples. How does one compromise this unalienable, express right without eliminating the right to self-defense and putting Americans at the mercy of criminals and the government?
D/S/Cs also want to eliminate the Fourth Amendment, making any search and seizure intrusion by the government legitimate. They’ve repeatedly violated it at the highest levels of the government, as we’ll soon discover. If that amendment falls, there is nothing the government cannot do, nowhere they cannot intrude. How does one compromise on that?
The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. This means that punishment not reaching that level, after the full application of due process under the Sixth Amendment, is constitutional. Indeed, it is necessary, because there is evil abroad in the world, and the primary benefit of incarceration is not rehabilitation for criminals, but the fact that while they are in jail, they are not preying on the innocent.
The compromise issue here is between people who think criminals victims of whatever pathology is popular and politically useful at the moment and those who understand the nature of evil. D/S/Cs think the fact that a given favored minority group is incarcerated at rates in excess of their population distribution is prima facie evidence of racism or some other kind of discrimination. The fact that they commit serious crimes far out of proportion to their population distribution doesn’t enter into their thinking. Felons are their natural constituency.
One may reasonably argue over the efficacy of various means of punishment, usually the length of prison terms for various offenses, but compromise on the wrong side of reality only produces unnecessary carnage.
Ultimately the kinds of compromises D/S/Cs demand violate the beliefs I’ve listed, and always result in much less individual liberty and far more governmental power and intrusion. How much of that sort of “compromise” can a nation founded on individual liberty and limited government abide?