One of the greatest minds of the 20th century, Ayn Rand, wrote: “I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the half-way, the almost, the just-about, the in-between.” Her contempt for compromise was prevalent in her work. As she wrote in The Fountainhead, “To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?”
Historians, people who play experts on television, and politicians say the same thing: You need to compromise to get things done in Washington. Unfortunately, as history has shown, compromise will give the public a bastardized version of liberty. Typically, this bipartisan act breeds big government.
On the other hand, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is advancing the principles of small government the right way: Alliance.
AOC-Cruz Tag Team
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) are teaming up to help make birth control available over the counter, something that prominent Republicans have demanded for years. This proposal would deregulate the industry and mirror other countries that have allowed consumers to purchase birth control without a prescription. The results have been great: Costs have plunged, patients are not required to visit their physician for a prescription, and consumers do not need to endure insurance complications just to purchase the pill.
This is not the first time that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Cruz have worked together. The polar opposites partnered to prohibit former members of Congress to serve as corporate lobbyists. They came together after a study found that 60% of ex-officials in the 115th Congress – 2017 to 2019 – accepted jobs as lobbyists. On both occasions, Cruz and AOC have requested a clean bill without any riders.
Indeed, this legislation is a positive step toward draining the Swamp. Heck, even she got it right.
So, do you see what happens when two politicians find common ground on an issue? It benefits the country and incrementally reduces the largesse in the Leviathan. Sure, Ocasio-Cortez likely did not have any intention to rein in the state, but her stance on something so universal helped.
Government Begets Government
The United States political arena is a toxic environment. As libertarian comedian Andrew Heaton recently told Liberty Nation, it seems like the order of the day is boxing gloves and to hate one another. While civil war is unlikely on the horizon, it just feels like Republicans and Democrats need to spend an hour in the octagon and have Joe Rogan commentate a fight to relieve hostilities. And that may be better for the nation because whenever elephants and donkeys coalesce, it usually ends up insulting conservatives and libertarians.
The budget is a perfect illustration of this.
In 2013, the left declared that the end was nigh because Washington agreed to a sequester, a paltry $85 billion reduction in the rate of automatic spending increases that the GOP championed was a success. It did not achieve much because the federal government was still spending $15 billion more than it did in the previous year. But, according to Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), the sequester cost 170 million jobs, despite roughly 140 million people working in the U.S. at the time. Overall, spending was still going up, the debt was heading higher, and unfunded liabilities and expenditures increased.
Another example of compromise gone wrong is the gun issue. More Democrats today want to abolish the Second Amendment. More Republicans want to preserve and protect the Second Amendment and just institute things like heightened background checks. What’s the policy prescription? Restrictive gun control measures that are undermining the right to keep and bear arms.
Be afraid. Be very afraid when the GOP and Democrats are standing side by side in front of the press, grinning ear to ear and declaring that it is a great day for democracy.
A Rothbardian Strategy
Rather than compromise, politicians would be better served to find allies – even if that ally is on the other side of the aisle. By employing this tactic, you never sacrifice your principles. Legendary economist Murray Rothbard, an anarcho-capitalist libertarian, was described by his peers as “the enemy of the state.” However, he was not shy about working with movements that were in favor of big government but were as anti-war. He advocated an alliance with the New Left anti-war movement, asserting that conservatives had been imbibed by the statist establishment.
Rothbard was famous for working with organizations that were contradictory to most of his views. If he found a group that sympathized with him on at least one issue, he pounced. Rothbard wrote in June 1973:
“The idea of alliance, whether with Left or with Right, is on [the] ground of tactics rather than principle. We acquire multiple social leverage by allying ourselves on specific issues with differing groups with whom we agree on those particular issues: with Leftists opposed to the draft, or with Rightists opposed to the income tax, for example.”
Former Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) appeared to heed Rothbard’s advice, forming many alliances during his years in the Swamp. Since he was unlikely to garner support from his own party on the drug war or foreign policy, Paul sought out left-leaning characters to co-sponsor legislation or advance bills. Whether it was former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) or Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Paul was not afraid to flirt with the enemy. While he did not accomplish much legislative success in his political career, Dr. Paul can be thanked for resuscitating the anti-war right and making sound money a part of the national conversation.
Go Along to Get Along
A lot of young people are becoming engaged in politics. This excitement for policy has ignited a tidal wave of youth seeking public office. But the question is: Why would you want to sacrifice your principles when you’re still so young in life? That’s what happens when you become a politician. You need to go along to get along; you need to set aside at least some of your principles and values to ensure a 1,200-page document that contains funding for a public-works project headed by a congressman’s nephew’s friend’s wife’s cousin’s construction business gets passed. At first, all you wanted to do was ensure legislators read the bills they’re proposing! Now, your only concern is making it to the next election. That’s compromise.
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