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Has compromise become a placebo for the ignorant?

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “compromise” as a settlement of differences by arbitration or by the consent reached by mutual concessions; something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things.  Compromise is a part of the fabric that is our nation.  It has been this way since our inception and throughout our growth as a nation.  Some compromises have been successful such as those reached during the Philadelphia convention in 1787.  It was through a series of compromises our constitution was crafted and later ratified by the states.  The Bill of Rights was the result of a compromise between federalists and anti-federalists.  An example where compromises ultimately failed were those made prior to the civil war.  These compromises only acted as a placebo and ultimately could not avert a bloody civil war.  They were designed to appease parties on both sides with empty solutions.  Looking back throughout our history you will find the mark of compromise stamped all over America.

Today we live in a political climate where politicians use the practice of compromise as a weapon against each other.  Democrats cry Republicans don’t care about the average person because they refuse to compromise on tax increases for the wealthy.  Republicans fire back and claim Democrats refusal to compromise on entitlement reform is leading to major cuts in our national defense and the bankruptcy of America.  It goes on and on as both sides lob compromise bombs at one another in a political food fight that solves nothing.  It has become so bad people are now questioning whether or not D.C. is beyond repair.  However what if today’s version of compromise is nothing more than a placebo for the ignorant?  What if we have reached a point where compromise is empty or doesn’t change a thing?  What if its only purpose is to appease the people and make them belief something is actually getting done?

Think about this.  From the time President Obama raised his right hand in January 2009 until the beginning of January 2011 when the Republicans retook the House the national debt increased by 9.1 percent.  It went from $10,669,804,864,612.13 to $14,003,420,744,930 in two years; an increase higher than any other President or congress to date has duplicated.  The people clearly saw that Washington was out of control and in 2010 Republicans were swept into power by the electorate’s discontent with the spending trajectory the government plotted out.  One year later, how has it worked out for us?  Well from the time the Republicans actually gained control of the purse strings in March 2011 to today the national debt has increased by over $1 trillion to $15,342,906,989,996.  This $1 trillion+ increase was achieved through a series of empty spending compromises by Republicans.  The illusion was created to make the public believe something was actually getting done; however the numbers speak for themselves.  The Republican leadership decided empty compromises were a better choice than appearing as if they were unwilling to work with the Democrats.  The Democrats got what they wanted and an ignorant electorate got what they wanted; a placebo that offered no real solutions.

The use of these empty compromises has become an effective tool for both the left and right.  One reason it works is because the electorate desires compromise because as I said it’s a part of our fabric as a nation.  After all we see and are a part of compromises each day of our lives.  We compromise when we buy a car or take a job.  We compromise when we stay within the family budget or find common ground with a worker.  It’s what we do.  The main difference when we compromise as compared to when elected officials compromise is our compromises tend to be purposeful and improve our condition in some way.  We know every detail of the family budget or the kind of car we might want to buy.  We know what we’re willing to give up too make it work or what we need to do to stretch our dollars.  And this brings us to the second reason why it’s such an effective tool for the left and right; we don’t know all the details of the deal.  Most of these compromises are crafted behind closed doors in secret sessions.  This allows them to control the message and the amount of details released to the public, keeping the people in the dark.  The founders were adamantly against this practice because they believed that only through open debate could issues be resolved.  There is also a large majority of the people who remain ignorant because it’s just easier to deal with reality living in ignorance.  These people are the most dangerous to our liberties because they know not what they do and can be easily manipulated by either side.

This brings us to the empty compromise of the Obama administration over the church purchasing insurance plans that must include a clause to provide contraceptives for employees of organizations supported by the church.  The Catholic Church stood strong by saying it was unacceptable for the church to be forced to purchase a plan that paid for contraceptives because it went against the tenets of their teachings.  Backlash began to build as more and more people saw this as an attempt by the federal government to limit the doctrine of a church in violation of the first amendment.  Moderate Democrats feeling the heat pleaded with the President to find common ground.

The problem is ObamaCare is law and the President can’t just waive his magic executive wand and make it all better.  Technically he can’t even grant waivers without the law being changed.  What is he to do?  He needs to create the appearance that he’s willing to compromise so he offers up a placebo; an empty compromise that only appears to change the rules when in reality it changes nothing.  He and his minions are now peddling the snake oil that claims that church will not be providing contraceptives to their employees because the big bad insurance companies are providing free contraceptives.  It’s nothing more than a play on words here.  So the insurance company plans are providing free contraceptives and the church is off the hook.  Wait a minute, does this mean the church does not have to purchase the plan anymore.  Nope.  The church still purchases the plan that allows the insurance companies to provide free contraceptives.  It doesn’t change a thing.  But it sounds like it does and that is how an empty compromise works.  It’s designed to make you think things are better when in reality it’s nothing more than a placebo with no problem solving ingredients. Obama is trying to manipulate the language to benefit his position on the issue; however in the end nothing has changed.  What’s sad is many will fall for this garbage because they desire compromise no matter what form it comes in; even if it’s nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

The ignorant lap this crap up because they know no better.  And those who do see through this sham and try to inform people are labeled obstructionists.  The one thing for sure is compromise isn’t what it used to be.  We don’t have many enlightened visionaries in D.C. anymore who are willing to make the tough choices to help reduce the size of government in our lives.  Instead we have ambitious men and women who care more about expanding the size of government and enriching themselves than doing what’s right for the nation.  They will continue to use empty compromises to create the illusion that something is getting done as long as we let them get away with it.  Our debt will continue to grow and our liberties will continue to disappear. It’s time to wake up people.  As long as so many remain ignorant about the issues they will continue to feed us compromises that offer no real change and we will continue to decline as a nation.  Sleepy time is over.  It’s time to wake up.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


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  • Chris W February 10, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Great post.

    Anyone who calls themselves a conservative or Tea Partier and believed that change would come from putting the GOP in control of the House during the 2010 midterm should be forced to memorize and recite your third paragraph every morning when they wake up and again before they go to bed.
    Chris W recently posted..Video – Rand Paul CPAC 2012 SpeechMy Profile

    • John Carey February 11, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      It has indeed been very disappointing. I’m tired of hearing that they only hold one piece of the puzzle. It just so happens to be the most important piece in regards to spending…the House. If only they stood on the principles they claimed to hold near and dear to their hearts just maybe we could have cut our spending. Instead they chose the path of empty compromises and increased spending. It’s shameful.
      John Carey recently posted..Has compromise become a placebo for the ignorant?My Profile

  • Fuzzy February 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Another excellent, thoughtful piece. Today’s “compromise” irritated the heck out of me, but I think this post covers it. 🙂
    Fuzzy recently posted..Rick Santorum: Family, Faith, and FreedomMy Profile

  • Jim at Conservatives on Fire February 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    John, I just finished writing a long response to your most excellent post and was doing spellcheck when my Internet explorer broke off temporarily. The bottom line was this; Where or when are we going to find Republican leadership that will tell the people the cold hard truth about how very critical the situation is with America in a way that the people can understand.The American people should be scared out of their wits right now. Americans have always done whats right when their backs have been up against a wall; no matter how painful it was. But, as long as the people are lead to belive that things will get better if we just keep doing more of the same, we will continue down the path to our own destruction. Frankly, John, I am not very hopeful that we will find that leadership in time.
    Jim at Conservatives on Fire recently posted..Acid Reflux __ A poem by the Bard of MurdockMy Profile

    • John Carey February 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM

      We will find the solutions to our problems when we stop looking to flawed leaders to solve them for us Jim. Only when we look for the answer within ourselves we will truly be on the path to save the republic. Until that happens we will continue down this road that leads to bankruptcy and the end of the republic. How can one expect a problem to be solves by a government who has caused most of them through policy and regulations. They tinker and things get worse. People we need to come and see this and the only way I know they will see it is if they feel it. It we need to get much worse I fear.
      John Carey recently posted..Teeing it up: A Round at the LINKs (Better late than never Edition)My Profile