“Compromise.” What is it? How does it affect our daily lives?
Put simply, ‘compromise’ is a situation where neither party gets what it wants. In a lot of situations, the outcome is something that both parties can live with, but is usually “gamed” by both parties. Take, for example, a situation where someone wants to buy a car. The dealer names a price he would love to get, but knows is unrealistically high. The potential buyer counters with a price which he knows is unrealistically low. Both parties know that their starting position won’t get far, but they use it as a “starting point.” From these starting points, both parties gradually approach something in the middle, which is a little less than the seller wanted, and a little more than the buyer wanted to pay, but both know that this is how the game is played, and they therefore started with their most outlandish figure as their “starting point” to “open negotiations.”
In other situations though, the outcome is more favorable to one side or the other, and if those two parties interact regularly, is often compounded over time by repeated compromises which always favor one side.
Take, for example, the case where there are two “parties” or groups. One group wants to retain their rights, while the other group wants to infringe those rights. Let’s call the group who wants to retain their rights “citizens,” and we’ll call those who want to infringe those rights “government.” What will be their “starting points?” Obviously, the citizens’ starting point will be that they retain 100% of their rights. However, as we’ve considered above, a “starting point” is rarely maintained once you agree to compromise or “negotiate.”
If the citizens agree to this negotiation process (compromise), and their starting point is maintaining 100% of their rights, the government can have a “starting point” that only infringes 20% of the citizens’ rights (and look very reasonable when they put their ‘spin’ on it). The eventual compromise might end up with the citizens losing somewhere around 10% of their rights.
Who wins? Well, I would say that the government does, since they get the citizens to agree to WILLINGLY give up 10% of their rights. However, there are certain lobbying groups who will claim that they “won a victory for the citizens’ rights,” because they got the government to back down by one half of their ‘demands.’
But, it gets even better (for the government). A year or two later, they will get the citizens to agree to compromise a few more of their rights away. The government will once again start out trying for 20%, and the citizens, in their usual generous mood, will gladly agree to give away ‘only’ 10% of their rights. Add this latest rights give-away to the previous one, and you can easily see that the government is winning this compromise game, one small infringement at a time.
And the slickest part (for the government), is that they can, with some small amount of truth, claim that they didn’t infringe those rights! They can truthfully say that the citizens agreed to give them up!!
So, when you look around for a group that you think stands up for your rights, look at their lobbying history, and see if they regularly agree to support the government in taking only a few of our rights in exchange for leaving some “intact.” That, my friends, is the road of compromise, and if you send money to an organization like that, you are paying them to give away our rights.
Say “NO!” to compromise. Once we give our rights away, we will never get them back. Instead of “demanding” that the government only take “a few” rights, we should be demanding that they give back ones that they have stolen from us in the past. When the government states their “starting position” of ‘we want you to give up 20% of your rights,’ OUR starting position should be “we want you to give back 100% of what you have taken.” If we insist on letting ourselves be drawn into the compromise game, let’s at least use a starting position that gives us a reasonable chance of winning (or at least not constantly losing).
There will be some who will argue that this is not realistic on our part, and that we need to ‘compromise.’ If you hear someone say this, that person is someone who wants to GIVE YOUR RIGHTS AWAY. Recognize it for what it is. “Compromising” with your rights is giving your rights away. No matter what you call it, you will end up with fewer rights, and that, my friends, is a win for the government. Whoever advocates this, wants the government to win in their attack on our rights.