Postage for Pakistan and other parts of the planet

Monday, November 12, 2012

Don't kid a kidder, kid

Understand this: When people say, "We need to put politics behind us" for XYZ reason, often what they really mean to say is that their opponents need to lay aside their principles, their governing philosophy.

Can no one see the insanity of such a proposition, regardless of which end of the political spectrum on which you reside? Or have I missed something? (If I have, please, I'm sincere, show me the error of my ways. I'm open to seeing where I've got it wrong.)

Example: Imagine saying to someone who utterly believes in extending the right to marry to same sex couples, "Put politics behind you. This battle is too divisive. Give up on your quest for what you call 'marriage equality.'"

Imagine how well that person would accept that.

Flip the coin. Picture saying to someone who was utterly opposed to so-called same sex marriage, "Put politics behind you. This battle is too divisive. Give up on your quest for upholding what you call 'the sanctity of marriage.' At least accept 'civil unions.'"

It wouldn't fly, would it?

This isn't to say politics should never involve compromise. Compromising on details is essential to getting anything done in a pluralistic, even sharply divided society.

If I, however, am exceedingly convinced because of a deeply held, almost a self-constitutional principle that, using another example, extending tax cuts are precisely the wrong thing in order to bring down a massive budget deficit, then it would be killing my soul in some small way to "compromise" in that fashion.

Conversely, if I am exceedingly convinced because of deeply held, almost self-constitutional principles that raising taxes is precisely the wrong thing in order to bring down that budget deficit, then no matter how much the other side rails about making the rich do their "fair" share (have you seen their current tax rates?), no matter how much they bloviate about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer (as if that's the wealthy's fault), no matter how much they ignore that a rising tide lifts all boats à la the economy under Reagan in the 1980s, I would be completely unworthy of any trust bestowed upon me as an elected official if I gave in on tax cuts.

One could use so many different examples ad nauseam, but I'll let it rest for once (you're welcome).

Don't tell us, in any event, that it's time to put politics beside us when really what you want is for us to cave on principle. As my mom used to say, "Don't kid a kidder, kid." Don't think we're such fools that we would buy such a proposition.

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