Compromise isn’t how America has become a better country

Progressives have carved a path forward, while conservatives hold us back.

Robert Whale certainly wrote an informative and well thought out column (“Americans must rediscover the lost art of compromise”, published Aug. 31) but I do find just a few flaws in his reasoning.

Number one: If we hadn’t compromised with slave owning states in the beginning of our country, there would, most likely, never have been a United States because we needed all thirteen states on board in order to defend against Britain. So, while compromise got us free of Britain’s rule, it ultimately created a problem that we couldn’t resolve between the free states and the slave holding states.

So, was compromise good or bad? In this instance, history tells us it cost our country nearly 600,000 lives and some might argue that for a considerable number of folks it hasn’t been resolved yet.

Number two: I’m hard pressed to understand his statement that we need conservatives at times because all of the great strides we have made in this country have been made by liberals, or as I prefer, progressives. FDR’s policies were progressive and pulled our country out of the Great Depression; LBJ’s accomplishments regarding civil rights and medicare were progressive and lifted many more people out of poverty, alienating the Southern Democrats and making them leave the party for the Republican party which, over time has turned it into the racist party it has become; and Obama’s Affordable Car Act took a half-hearted stab at healthcare for all but it was still a big improvement regarding our healthcare system.

Where were conservatives on these policies,? Fighting them tooth and nail at every turn. They are still trying to privatize social security and medicare.

The main accomplishments of conservative policies when they are in control, since Reagan, are 40 years of tax cuts for the rich which has only succeeded in making the rich super rich and stagnating the rest of the economy; being in favor of businesses getting rid of unions which has further crippled our economy for everyone but the wealthy; and refusing to agree to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 creating a large body of homeless working poor.

This is what progressives compromising with conservatives has gotten us, because progressives have been willing to compromise and they are finally sick of it and with good reason. Maybe in his future columns he could shed a little more light on exactly why we occasionally need conservatives, because I simply don’t see it, at all. Just sayin’.

Larry Benson