George Graham

The Myth of Compromise


As Americans drift farther apart, you will hear calls for compromise between political factions, and the idea might seem seductive. But I doubt it’s possible.

When we disagree about such basic concepts as compassion, decency and common sense, how can we find “common ground”?

When it’s a question of right or wrong, there can be no “middle.”

Some kinds of behavior are just wrong.  Some policies make no sense. Some actions have undesirable consequences.

You can’t go partly to war. You can’t be partially racist. “Moderate” hate speech is not acceptable.

And how do you compromise on economic policy? You either believe in the law of the jungle or you believe what you learned in Sunday School..

A recent poll found Republicans and Democrats are farther apart than ever. The study found that:

The sharpest partisan divides come on the poor and racial discrimination.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you which party believes in helping the poor and treating all people alike regardless of the color of their skin.

How would you suggest they compromise on that?

Another issue sharply dividing the two political camps is immigration. Republicans don’t think immigrants are good for the country. How do you meet them halfway?

And when Republicans oppose environmental regulations, what could Democrats do to appease them? Agree to destroy only half of the earth God gave us?

To me, one group’s policies are bad. The other group’s policies are good. And that’s all there is to it.

Report on the new poll

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for