Perspectives: Compromise is no option, a season for turning

OPINION –An attractive woman sits at a bar, waiting for her date. A handsome, well-dressed man approaches her and quietly whispers, “I’ll pay you $1 million to spend the night with me.”

The woman looks him over, quickly weighs her options, and says, “Sure, why not?” The man then asks her, “Would you still be willing to do it for $10?” “Of course not!” she snaps, “What kind of woman do you think I am?” The man replies, “We’ve already established what kind of woman you are. Now we just need to settle on a price.”

This tale is similar to the dilemma faced by grassroots Republican voters who are being pressured to set aside certain core values of proper government to support their party’s nominee. By insisting that principle-driven voters consciously abandon certain principles so a particular candidate can win, GOP leaders are making an indecent proposal that benefits only party interests.

Who can forget how these same Republicans were publicly berated, stabbed in the back, disenfranchised, and kicked to the curb by GOP leadership at last month’s convention? After being informed that their views were not welcome, now party bosses insist that Obama can’t be defeated without their support.

Pundit Kurt Schlichter readily admits that freedom-minded delegates were treated badly in Tampa, still, he insists that they have no choice but to support the Republican nominee. As he puts it, “Priorities, people. Nothing less than the Constitution is at stake here.”

Ah, the Constitution. As if merely invoking America’s founding document will get these dissidents back in lockstep with the party.

But blogger Jeremy Hammond’s brilliant rebuttal puts Schlichter’s hollow plea into proper context. He responds, “Priorities, people. Nothing less than the Constitution is at stake here. And I think we can all agree that it would be much better to have a Republican president trampling the Constitution.”

It’s not a matter of hurt feelings. Despite superficial policy differences, both establishment presidential candidates are firmly committed to perpetuating a status quo that is in open conflict with constitutional government.

Nowhere is this more evident than in both Romney’s and Obama’s ongoing support of the 2011 NDAA indefinite detention law that denies due process to anyone labeled an enemy of the state. There can be no reasonable compromise on such matters; our government either abides by the rule of law or it doesn’t.

Voters who are intent upon safeguarding the principles of sound government are absolutely justified in withholding their consent from candidates who support such unconstitutional power grabs. No amount of campaign platitudes can offset the genuine long-term threat posed by unlimited, unaccountable government.

When we choose to compromise our core principles to any degree, we become like the woman at the bar; all that remains is the matter of establishing our price.

Principled voters become such by questioning assumptions, studying the underlying principles, and refusing to blindly follow orders. They understand the power of the word “no.” More importantly, they recognize that surrendering to a false choice keeps us trapped within a narrow political paradigm that ignores the bigger picture.

With both major parties keeping us hyper-focused on the election cycle, it’s essential to remember that long-term historical cycles are at work as well.

In their 1997 book “The Fourth Turning,” historians William Strauss and Neil Howe outline a cyclical pattern of changes or turnings that occur over a roughly 100 year period known as a saeculum. These turnings can be likened to the changing of the seasons and each turning brings its own challenges and opportunities.

The first turning is a high, such as the years following WWII and the Great Depression. The next turning is an awakening in which old ideas are challenged and revolutionary thinking takes hold like during the 1960s. The third turning is an unraveling where institutions begin to fray around the edges. A good example of this is the long boom and culture wars that typified the 1980s through the early part of the new millennium.

The fourth turning is a time of crisis, usually set in motion by a catalyst such as the 9/11 attacks. This is a time of great crisis and upheaval where the societal landscape can change drastically. The American War for Independence and the War Between the States are two examples of crises in which, unlike this election, the very identity of the nation did hang in the balance.

As a society, we have entered a crisis phase once again. The turnings are as unavoidable as the changing of the seasons. But whether the crisis period concludes with positive or negative results depends greatly upon the principles of those who live through it.

Abandoning principle for the spurious benefit of winning an election that changes nothing, amounts to selling one’s soul in a buyer’s market. The wiser choice is to hold fast to our core values and ride out the impending storm with a clear conscience.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not necessarily representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • Dara Tancredi September 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I voted for Ross Perot in 1992. My reward? Clinton in 1992 who tried to pass single payer healthcare the first time, who also made sure that China was awarded “Most Favored Nation Status” which gave the US a short term job burst but now we see the long term consequences of job loss. Worried about the constitution? Don’t bother, the current president is not bothered by it. Keep to your “purist principles” and lose your country, that is your choice. By the way, name one major achievement that Ron Paul has made as a congressman all these years that he served? How about one? Ron Paul is a good Paul Revere, he can sound the alarm just fine but he has had zero success in governing..The perfect is the enemy of the good. If you run anything, you learn it and fast. Naivety will get you nowhere.

    • David Crowther September 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      “Keep your purist principles and loose your country”? — the truth is the Bush began the war on the constitution that Obama is keeping pace with. The republican party is no safe harbor for the constitution, the only place it will be safe is with people who stand up for it. Some compromise is necessary to govern but on Habeas Corpus? Would you give up the freedom of the press if both parties attacked it? What about voting rights for women? Some things need to be defended.

  • Stephen Palmer September 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Bryan, excellent article, apt analogy.

    It’s interesting to me how mainstream Republicans blame independents for losing elections. If Romney loses this election, mainstreamers will be sure to blame those who vote for Ron Paul.

    Funny, I blame Romney for failing to abide by the Constitution, thus winning my vote.

    Dara, your attitude is fine, as long as you’re fighting an election-year battle. But your mindset changes when you realize the fight for freedom is a 100-year war.

    Also, forgive me for chuckling at the statement that if Obama wins, we’ll “lose our country.” As if mainstream Republicans are “safeguarding our country.”

    I wonder how long it will take true freedom-loving Republicans to realize that their party sold them out a long time ago…

  • Barry Short September 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Dara, if we don’t keep to principles the country is already lost.

    And let’s not forget, we live in Utah. This state’s electoral votes won’t be going to Obama. If by some incredible miracle Governor Gary Johnson were to win this state, Mitt would still come in second.

    So vote your conscience. And if you don’t actually know which candidate you most agree with, may I suggest the survey at isidewith.com. It’s not brief, but it allows you to not just look for agreements on issues, but also to weight your priorities. You might be surprised which candidate actually represents your positions best – and while obviously not comprehensive, the survey’s results so far suggest that if all Americans actually voted for the candidate who most closely represents their thoughts, our next president might very well not be Obama OR Romney.

  • Dara Tancredi September 26, 2012 at 7:26 am

    David Crowther – Bush is not in this race, although the Obama campaign is tirelessly campaigning against him.
    “Again “name one major achievement that Ron Paul has made as a congressman all these years that he served? How about one?” Can’t do it can you. Ron Paul talks about the Constitution but has been utterly hapless to do anything about it. What good is that?

    People from Utah, you are living in a bubble. I am not from here. I am from a place where the Democrats have been running the show for YEARS. I moved to Utah to get away from this crap. Now Obama wants to export it here. Enjoy the decline. it looks worse close up.

    I volunteer on the Romney campaign every week in Nevada. You guys go ahead and fight for the Constitution, I am busy fighting for survival. The Dems consider the constitution a dead document. and the 4 Supreme Ct justices that Obama will appoint in his next term will make sure of it.

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