Common Ground Is Not a Compromise

There is a misconception within the Libertarian Party (LP) equating the idea of sharing common ground with legislators and compromising with legislators. While Libertarianism can be fairly loosely defined as a philosophy, LP principles and goals are absolutely defined by the statement of principles and the party platform.

The LP is the party of principle. Yet, principle, a word commonly used within the liberty movement, is often misused and misunderstood. Principle often stands in contradiction to compromise. Libertarian principles are not malleable, they are rules and laws rooted firmly in philosophy. Simply put, if you compromise an LP principle, then your action is unprincipled and outside the boundaries of adherence to LP standards. A compromise is a settlement reached between parties based on mutual concession, which can be acceptable, but never when it contradicts an LP principle.

So often in politics compromises are made that benefit no one, rather they create an illusion of necessity. The concept of compromise is exactly why the U.S. political system is so full of disingenuous and confusing, often paradoxical, legislation. For example, pretend that you and your friend want to go out for an evening of entertainment. You want to go to a movie and you friend wants to a dinner theatre, you compromise and go see a basketball game. Neither of you wanted to see a basketball game, nor did you get what you really wanted. This scenario is very common with compromises made by legislators while creating laws that affect an entire population. But, that begs a question; how do legislators, or those LP lobbying legislators effectively offer legislation that shares common ground, but does not offer an ineffective, or contradictory compromise?

The solution is to create legislation that is concise, simple, and direct, addressing one issue at a time. The days of huge omnibus legislation encapsulating hundreds of convoluted issues should be a matter of history. We need to lobby legislators and executives to pass laws individually so that they can pass what they agree upon and disregard everything they do not agree upon. Effectively, legislators should not compromise their principles either, yet hold firm to their principle, sharing when common agreements are found, but then unrelenting when in disagreement. Do not compromise principle, ever, but do share common ground.

As members of the LP, the party of principle, we cannot, ever, compromise our principles. As explained above, we can and should work with legislators within areas we agree and are assured our principles are upheld. Control of the electoral process by the duopoly has given the LP no choice, but to work with duopolistic legislators if we seek to make effective changes within any body politic on the local, state or federal level. We are not the party of compromise, we are the party of principle.

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