Principled Compromise Or Compromising Principles

Guest Post by Shak Hill

It sounds so nice and lofty to be all about compromising to “get things done” in Richmond or Washington. Republicans are constantly asked if they will compromise on issues. Being a great compromiser seems to be the key characteristic the Media and Democrats want a Republican to have.

In my travels around Virginia, I talk about Republican principles a lot. I offer this example of Compromise versus Principle:

Think about your kitchen. Consider the walls. Look at the color. Many kitchens are bright, which makes the room feel open and welcoming.

“We” could obtain diverse opinions from many people about the color of your kitchen. Every reasonable group of people could arrive at a compromise for the color “we” should paint your kitchen. Some might lean towards mauve, others fuchsia, and still others magenta. No matter the size of the group, in a short time, a vote could be taken and “we” could compromise on the color.

However, the preferred color of your kitchen is not the real question. The question is: Do “we” have the authority to paint your kitchen?

Because the answer is “No!” there’s no ability to ‘compromise’. Even if the group wants a color you can live with, is willing to pay for it, will do an outstanding job and clean up after finished, it doesn’t matter. “We” can’t paint your kitchen, because “we” have no authority to paint your kitchen in the first place.

It is wrong for the government to do something it has no authority to do. Because it’s wrong, there’s no ability to ‘compromise’ and let government do less wrong. Some grey areas of government exist. I get that. But some areas the government participates in now are clearly outside the limits of good government. Government must stop exceeding its limited authority. Recognizing limits is better than the so-called principle of compromise, which serves the Leftist Media, the Democrats and the Establishment on both sides, but not the people.

The Republican Party was born refusing to compromise on slavery. Thank goodness they did not compromise. I wonder what would have been a good compromise on slavery. Many will be free and a few will be slaves? How many? Where? Why? The Missouri Compromise failed, because it violated the principle. There is no compromise on the principle of freedom, so there is no compromise on the issue of slavery.

If the principle is the Free World must win the Cold War, then President Reagan was right to say, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” A compromise would not have worked: If you don’t mind, Mr. Gorbachev, please tear down a piece of the wall and let a few folks visit the West.

If the principle is all human life is precious, then compromises can’t be made to kill when life is inconvenient.

If the principle is America is a nation of laws, then the compromise can’t be – unless you’re here illegally and have lived here for ten years. Not applying laws to illegal immigrants isn’t a compromise. It’s a rejection of the principle.

If the principle is to let the free market economy work, then there is no compromise for the government to dictate a federal minimum wage. The federal government has no authority here.

If the principle is our right to keep and bear arms, then making compromises for universal background checks, limiting the size of magazines, requiring concealed carry permits, etc. is outside the authority of good government.

These compromises violate the principles.

The Virginia Republican Creed demonstrates our principles at the state level, and the Constitution sets our principles at the federal level. If the authority exists to get the government involved, then let’s work together to find a compromise that will advance the majority. If the government has no authority, then let’s stand on principle, as no ability to compromise exists.

Shak at WWII Memorial.

Shak Hill is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.