Many conservatives are wary of compromise; we see it as an evil, practiced only by those with little backbone.We prefer our candidates to have staunch, unmovable opinions.  Yet, one of the greatest moments in our nation’s  founding was a compromise!  The delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia  in 1787 were at a stalemate over the composition of the representative house(s).  Should it be by allocating representatives according to population (favored by the populous states) or by granting each state one represenative no matter its size (favored by the little guys)? There was much debate and little progress. Finally two delegates proposed the Connecticut Compromise of two representative houses: one with proportional representation and one with equal representation.  It passed.  Our system of House and Senate was off and runing and has been serving our nation well ever since.

John McCain has sometimes been labeled a compromiser.  But that term is no automatic evil.  Great statesman were willing to compromise in 1787; how much more so now?

FYI – in between the deadlock of  the May and June of 1787 and the passage of the Connecticut Compromise in July came this stirring publicly recorded reminder from Benjamin Franklin:  “ if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his (God’s) notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?” He then moved:  “that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”  A good reminder to us all this election year!

 

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