David Ball: Some things are not open to compromise

Published: 7/20/2021 4:16:31 PM

On the Gazette’s Jan. 13 opinion page, Joe Gannon’s column and a letter both vaunted the merits of compromise. The letter gave as an example the infamous three-fifths compromise in our original Constitution, which counted enslaved African Americans as three-fifths of a person when electing the House of Representatives.

The compromise was repealed only after the Civil War, by the Fourteenth Amendment. How would you feel about some other compromises, in this spirit?

A Three-Fifths Climate Change Compromise — just reduce greenhouse gas emissions bit by bit, over the years. No radical zero emissions! Instead of all Boston and Manhattan being underwater in 40 years, as scientists predict at our current rate, only three-fifths of our coastal cities will be underwater. Sound good?

A Three-Fifths Voting Rights Compromise. Instead of all normally eligible voters being able to vote, only three-fifths of them will be able to vote. Why insist on passing the For the People Act (S. 1) so every eligible voter can vote, when we can compromise?

I’m sure everybody sees what I mean. Some things are not open to compromise.

David Ball

Northampton




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