Art Of Compromise Essay Research Paper I

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?Art Of Compromise? Essay, Research Paper I. The label “art of compromise” and it’s reference to politics. Politics is referred to as the “art of compromise”. It is essential to a democratic society. Elected officials meet in legislative chambers to hammer out policies that all constituents can live with. Successful politicians learn early on the survival value of compromise. Economist Donald Wittman (1995: 154) correctly observes, “That is what good politicians do: create coalitions and find acceptable compromises.” Also political philosopher Jean Bethke Elshtain (1995: 61) states “But compromise is not a mediocre way to do politics; it is an adventure, the only way to do democratic politics.” II. Reasons why compromise is essential. Politicians need to be

able to compromise and be good at bargaining with other elected officials. One reason is that in order to get what is important to them, they must be willing to negotiate with others who also want support, it’s is a trade off in that each wants support for the their cause and in turn, must support someone else’s cause as well. They must do this type of bargaining in order to win enough support to get the votes necessary to win for their constituents. If the constituents don’t see that the elected official can bring home the bacon, they won’t vote for them in the next election. In other words, without compromise, nothing will be acheived for the contituency, and as a result the official will not likely continue to hold office for long. By the same token, no politicians or

voters, will get everything they want. There must be a majority to implement policy, which means that means that almost every time supporters of policy will have to give up something of value to others in order to win enough support for their cause. This is referred to as “logrolling.” In order to function well, Congress needs members who understand the need for and have the ability to compromise; who are willing to be team players and fight for what they believe without demonizing their opponents, so that they may work with them again on different issues. A politician who refuses to compromise is typically labeled as an “ideologue”, a title which has little prestige among members of political class. III. Backlash of compromise and the role politics play in regard to

effectiveness of compromise. Politicians who are known for compromise are less attractive in the public opinion. The public prefers rigid adherence to principles they believe are important, and don’t generally understand the essential need for compromise, or how necessary it is to get things done. Because compromise is essential to being effective for the constituency, each legislator is confronted by the difficult task of being an expert compromiser in legislatures while appearing to voters to be an uncompromising champion of principle. Democratic politics falls short of achieving optimal compromise not only because of immoderate ideological restraints imposed on representatives by voters, but also because it displaces arrangements which could achieve a far greater amount of

progress. Politics stifle more beneficial compromise than it promotes. President George Bush Sr. learned how damaging a non-compliant attitude in regards to his 1990 “read my lips, no new taxes” campaign pledge. President Bush Sr. did what comes naturally to all politicians: compromise first and worry about ideology later. However, his problem was he was caught in the act and his political rivals easily portrayed his character as an unprincipled leader. He stated “The biggest mistake of my presidency was that I damaged my credibility by agreeing to a tax increase…I worked a compromise and it cost me plenty” (Bush 1996). However, when Ronald Reagan compromised during his presidency, he had such refined communication skills that he was able to deflect the public’s