Why Play Nice?

When is compromise a problem? I’d say when it perpetuates a horrible set of circumstances. Imagine, for example, a king and queen arguing over whether to beat the peasants to death or starve them. They decide to compromise and drown them.

Our government is on the verge of another shutdown, though you may not have read about it yet. Boehner is having a hard time getting the Tea Party types to play ball. Tough bananas, John. When we sent the cut-spending crowd in, we meant it. Are you getting the message?

The debate taking place in our country now is not bad, and except for the errant personal shots some take, it is not particularly rancorous. It is the long-needed opening of the deficit closet, the doors of which have remained closed for decades. Why would we expect things to go smoothly when the big-government gnomes within are dragged out into the sunlight?

We need this debate, and we need it now. It would be easy to make us all chummy again–just ignore the freight train headed our way.

Whether you like them or not, the so-called Tea Party contingent has done us all a huge favor. It has forced liberals (or do they prefer “progressives” these days?) to ask just how far they are willing to go to ensure their social(ist) objectives. Is there a limit to the degree the individual is subject to the will of the collective? If so, we’d like to hear more about that.

It has also forced conservatives to address a similar question. Just how much are they willing to tax in order to support military interventions abroad? We’d also like to hear about any limits on that type of adventure.

Everyone is mad at the Tea Party because they are pointing out the offending substance in our collective punch bowl. While the rest of the country is handing out blindfolds, the TPers are saying, “Hey, guys. What’s that icky stuff floating next to the orange slice?” Instead of being grateful, the guests are incensed. They were perfectly happy not knowing what they were drinking.

Thus I say to the new libertarians in Congress, fight on. Fight hard. Fight long. Be polite when possible and gracious when called for, but don’t try to pretend this is not a battle. It is, and if you lose, we all lose. Godspeed.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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1 Response to Why Play Nice?

  1. Dang Terry-you nailed it!


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