Consider the phrase, “to compromise.” In politics, it’s the grease that lubricates the axles of government, and it’s something we probably need more of today.

Consider a slight variation, “to be compromised.” In politics, it’s the corruption of the mission and the core responsibility, and it’s at the heart of so much that’s wrong today. Our two parties have abandoned their core beliefs to the point where they are completely compromised. They stand for whatever gains, and maintains, their offices (while the voters try to block whatever party gains at their expense).

This is because American political parties are cynically pragmatic. They evolve into political solution spaces, whereas most political entities in Parliamentary systems are ideological. Think of the Democrats filling the solution space of the Green Parties. Germany has the Christian Democrats, Americans have Republicans. But the compromises have drawn the Parties away from most philosophical bedrock. Which means:

1) We have no party that stands for fiscal responsibility, because there is no pragmatic power in it. Nobody wins office taking away from status quo interests, to give to abstract, and less well-organized ones (“give” means, to we Libertarians, “not-taking”).

2) We have no party in opposition to our war adventures. This, despite total failure of the wars to achieve any progress in human rights, nor national security advantage. This, despite an unprecedented need to cut national expenses.

3) We have no party that takes action for civil rights (defined here as policing policies that disproportionately harms People Of Color (POC)).

Ironies of over-policing and Democratic compromise abound:

We paused our Depression-causing Covid lockdowns for mass protests, to let off the steam of over-policing, which spread the Covid. That Covid-spreading disproportionately affects the POC protesting the disproportionate effects of over-policing. That Depression has blown a hole in New York City’s budget. The hole will be addressed by… (wait for it)… over-policing.

New York City has always been an egregious offender of using the police to fine for revenue; “collars for dollars”. The policy is coming from one of our most Progressive politicians, leading one of the most Progressive cities. Such is Progressivism, in application, after the compromises of pragmatic power are factored.

The contradiction of “collars for dollars”/most-Progressive city indicates over-incarceration is a closed-loop, an evolutionarily stable system, as immune to ethical consistency as it is to interference by “outsiders” (outsiders, being the people marching in their hundreds of thousands, in protest). The electorate has great difficulty breaking into this loop: not one candidate for the Presidency has successfully made incarceration reform into a viable platform plank, for the generation we have been the world’s outlier incarcerator.

Quite the contrary: America’s outlier policing policies were built when Presidential candidate Joe Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee that wrote the laws. And the Democrats chose Kamala Harris for Vice President, whose record (not to mention ethics violations) went to further the over-policing hobby-horse she rode her entire career. She jailed POC whose children missed school. Her trying to dismount now should be seen as breathtaking hypocrisy (the hand she [getting from the media 8 in the attempt is even worse).

With this irony: she was unpopular during her primary run, rightly crushed by Tulsi Gabbard for her incarceration horse-riding, only to be vaulted (undemocratically) to Vice Presidential candidate, evidently to address law and order concerns, from the ongoing riots. Which were caused by the protests, which were caused by over-incarceration.

For a Party of Principle (like we libertarians), the compromise-to-contradiction is understood: the Democrats are a coalition of those getting things from the government . Which explains the improbable combination of the over-policed with the policing interests. “Progressive plus collars for dollars” makes for stable political alchemy. Their coalition needs the two factions for their true objective: the reduction of the Republican maths (Donald Trump, plus the Evangelicals, to name just two of the awkward sums in the Republican formula).

So, civil rights are sold for the needs of the coalition. Which would be normal (if contemptible) politics as usual, if not for the last irony: compromise is a rare Democratic posture on issues regarding race. Quite the contrary: outrage and denouncements of racism (however defined) practically rules our media/social media multi-verses. Even the most cosmic level overview of the SJW/cancel-culture trends are beyond any scope of brevity for a blog post. But, it factors to Democratic brays for uncompromising anti-racism are given lie by their 2020 candidates. The ticket is a terrible contrast with the multitudes who have lost careers, have been de-platformed, defenestrated, and so forth, for principles so easily sold.

For those of us not on either side of the maths, we are left to wonder: if the damage done to the nation in the BLM/pandemic protests doesn’t call for a thinking on policing beyond more of the unacceptable same, what possibly can? If the issue cannot budge the party closest to the cause (if only in their incessant proclamations), where will the political power needed to unwind our over-incarceration policies ever come from?

Mobilized public outrage got us out of Vietnam, blazed the trial for civil rights reform, ended prohibition, galvanized women’s suffrage, and warred on slavery. But now? Is our system totally unable to change, no matter the damage of such an immovable status quo?

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


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