Compromise

Benjamin Levine
Nov 18, 2011 at 4:53 PM

I have been upsetting quite a lot of big government leftists with my school newspaper articles recently, which is a sign that I'm doing a fairly good job.  After complaining about my proposals to cut government programs and not raise taxes on the rich, one student commented on my article asking me to compromise: Would I tax the rich more in order to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts?  It was an appealing offer (I would love to get rid of the NEA) but one I could not quite take.  Why?

Well, what does it mean to compromise?  It means to settle a dispute by mutual concessions.

Undoubtedly, what this student offered me was a true compromise.  I actually appreciated the effort on his or her part, but I couldn't do it in this instance.  To make concessions in life is actually pretty necessary; compromising is not an inherently bad thing.  I compromise with my friends all the time.  They want to see one movie, I want to see another, and we strike a deal of some sort.  That's completely fine.<--break->

imageBut when it comes to moral issues, compromise is unacceptable.  Well, I view taxation as a moral issue.  It is essentially taking private property out of the hands of an individual, thereby restricting his freedom and infringing on his liberty.  Taxation for the funding of limited government is moral but that is because only a limited state is morally justifiable.  "The minimal state is the most extensive state that can be justified," wrote Robert Nozick.  I agree wholeheartedly.

I'm sure I'll look like the bad guy in this situation because I won't compromise on raising taxes.  But compromise is simply not acceptable on moral issues and therefore I have to stand my ground; all conservatives need to stand their ground on moral compromises.  Especially on taxes.   After all, "Once you say, 'Well, you know, we live in the real world and sometimes you have to give in a little bit,' then you're never yourself, you're never your own person..."