Freeman Stein: Be careful with compromise

  • Tip of a Pen Mike Watson Images

Published: 12/22/2020 2:04:11 PM

Several weeks ago, I wrote a letter in response to those calling for compromise in order to heal the country. My point was that compromise can both advance and betray a country’s principles, and that compromise with those who continue to support the current administration and refuse to acknowledge the corrosive legacy of racism, misogyny and gross inequality is not a healthy choice for our democracy.

Last week I watched an interview with Steve Schmidt, one of the founders of The Lincoln Project, a group of previously committed Republicans focused on “a singular mission: To defeat Donald Trump and Trumpism.” For those who think the refusal to compromise with Trump’s supporters is unreasonable, arrogant, or destined to fail, I would suggest listening to a segment (about minute 37) from the PBS program Amanpour and Company during which Michel Martin interviews Steve Schmidt. Schmidt explained, “We have to bring the forces that Trump has let loose to submission.” The Lincoln Project founders/supporters believe that healthy debate is essential for our democracy, and furthermore, that Trumpism is a form of fascism that if tolerated will bring us to our knees.

Are you prepared to compromise with those who are prepared to reject our democracy? Liberals and progressives cannot be arrogant and self-righteous, but they also cannot be naive to think that Trump supporters who believe Trump should refuse to leave the White House are interested in a reasonable discussion of differences or the survival of democracy in America. Perhaps the Biden administration will successfully address the legitimate concerns of Trump supporters who have been poorly served by government. But, anything short of a total rejection of the extremists who are the heart of Trump’s support cannot be tolerated.

Freeman Stein


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