From the Editor - Grow up and compromiseThe problem is the people who absolutely will not give an inch. Whether you’re talking about the fiscal cliff fiasco in Congress, the abortion versus choice debate or gun control, 90 percent of the
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
The problem is the people who absolutely will not give an inch.
Whether you’re talking about the fiscal cliff fiasco in Congress, the abortion versus choice debate or gun control, 90 percent of the population would be willing to compromise in the name of common sense.
But the 10 percent are always trying to scare you.
A woman’s right to choose [to have an abortion] should be absolute, the letters from the National Organization for Women (NOW) told me in my 20s, urging me to send letters to my elected representatives in Congress.
I think I did send a couple; then I got too busy with life to be active politically for a time. I also started thinking a little more critically, and a little less black and white. Honestly, do people really need the right to have an abortion in the third trimester? In today’s world, babies born before the third trimester regularly grow up to be healthy, contributing members of society. I’m willing to compromise – to a point – on a woman’s right to choose.
The same goes for gun control.
We eat venison on a regular basis. My husband practically considers deer season a federal holiday. My 13-year-old daughter shot her first deer this fall.
They did not shoot their deer with guns that even remotely resembled machine guns, nor would they ever consider it. Really, what kind of sportsman needs a gun like that? Whether it is deer, moose, bear, wolves or caribou you hunt, a decent person will also give the animals a sporting chance.
So I’m willing to compromise on guns. Give us hunting rifles and even handguns – which, let’s be honest, are mostly for killing people – but don’t allow people to buy weapons that can (theoretically) take out a classroom of children in less than a minute.
There is a middle ground. Politicians – and regular folk – have a responsibility to find it. It doesn’t have to be a black and white world. All guns or no guns. No taxes or socialism.
Debate on these issues is fine – necessary, in fact – the problem is that too many people have forgotten how.
As former Congressman Lee Hamilton said in a recent column, healthy debate requires certain ingredients: “Respect for one’s adversary. Tolerance of different beliefs and perspectives. Graciousness. A fundamental respect for facts. The humility to recognize that we might be wrong and the integrity to admit it.”
While there is a place in the world for people who won’t budge on the issues, society doesn’t function so well when those folks are in charge.
Just look at the fiscal cliff debacle for proof.