Why I Chase Unicorns & Leprechauns

Compromise is a funny thing. In politics, you’re asked to compromise on everything: on candidates, on talking points, and most often, on policy. Everything is a negotiation and everything is a chess move. There’s a method to all of this madness.

We’re forced to compromise because of the apathy and the money it takes to win an election. A government no longer run by the people has left us grasping for anything similar to what we used to know and accepting the bits and pieces of something that is ‘good’. When we consider the welfare state, social programs, the lack of enforcement of immigration laws, the overreach, and the student loan bubble, it leaves us wondering ‘What is left to compromise?

I take a lot of heat for my idealism. A lot. Probably daily someone shames me for it. If someone dislikes me, it is mostly likely due to the fact that they see me as unwilling to move and my willingness to fight you until we’re both blue in the face. (That, or I previously wrote a blog about them. #sorrynotsorry) I had a discussion with someone yesterday about principles and ‘appealing to the masses’. It’s difficult to appeal to everyone when you’re principled. People who are liked by everyone are probably selling out somewhere along the line. It just isn’t possible in life, but especially in politics. But what about appealing to everyone, having principles and somehow implementing it?
I present to you this beautiful chart I crafted on a paper towel:

“Jessica’s Scale of Feasibility”


I fully recognize that I’m out there dangling on my own (or with a small minority) on A LOT of issues, but utopia and perfection start the conversation on a less complicated platform. Imagine if we began every policy conversation, partisan or not, right in the middle. There’s a reason lawyers aim high in settlement negotiations. There’s a reason Haliegh’s Hope Act (HB 885) should have covered more ground in the initial draft. There’s a reason a comprehensive gun law has all kinds of bells and whistles in it before it gets to a vote. There’s a reason candidates ask for more money than they believe they will obtain. You ask for that $1,000 donation in hopes of getting $500. You don’t ask for $500 because you need $500. You’ll end up with $250 almost every time.

Idealism presents wiggle room for improvement. We should all strive to be idealistic on at least one issue. It keeps the purity. And we have to acknowledge that on one issue –just one- we expect nothing less than perfection from start to finish. We acknowledge that progress isn’t sufficient. We each dig our feet in on one issue and refuse to cave for one fight…because the quick-to-bloom rose may smell better but cabbage makes better soup.

In a day when our policy is lacking principle, it’s even more important that we look to people to represent those principles whether in elected office or just in those pesky activists.  That’s where the principle will be restored. So whether you’re consistently principled, or consistently inconsistent, be principled.  Idealistic in principle and practical in application.

“Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.” – George Carlin


6 thoughts on “Why I Chase Unicorns & Leprechauns

  1. Dick Cottrill

    I am sorry but I am older than you. There, I started with that and having said that, what follows has some perspective!

    No, not the “Wisdom” argument (which usually isn’t!) but the fact that those of us to whom Idealism means a great deal have seen our Idealism change over the….wait for it …decades! I came to America with a pure expectation. After all that was what I had been taught in American History; that was why I came! Reality was a teensy bit different!

    Yes, pragmatism comes into play but so do circumstances. One’s Idealism frankly takes on a spiritual journey. In God’s eyes, what is the right argument to postulate? (and “please give me the words that make sense”!) Then, disaster! Perhaps the Idealism wasn’t His but mine, or perhaps it was His but not yet, or……..one frankly, never knows. That is Life; that is Experience. Hopefully I can keep learning from It and be a better person to my fellows and I can keep encouraging the new Idealists who have more energy and still, thankfully, have not learned why something cannot be achieved. As long as I agree with them, of course!

    Keep on keeping on!


  2. eburkedisciple

    Hold onto that idealism! Have you read any of Sir Edmund Burke? Do I detect a little of his influence? He had ideals but felt that a system that was working, albeit in a flawed way, was worth respect. It had won enough consensus to be implemented and had worked out all of its unintended consequences. So, take your ideals and change the system slowly toward those ideals. I am afraid that the left has done a better job of that (of course it helps when you appeal to the more base instincts of laziness and selfishness in people).

    The bottom line is that you are in the fight. I hope you stay there. We have too many pundits and not enough warriors, foot soldiers with perseverance are needed.

    Locally I am so encouraged that Marty Harbin will be going to Atlanta as a state Senator. The number is small but we are making progress getting solid idealists that also know how to fight in these trenches and make good compromises. Ralston’s days are numbered!

    Idealism matters – especially if you believe in our constitution and the liberty our founders put their lives on the line to win for us and our posterity.

  3. Pingback: Morning Reads — Thursday, August 21, 2014 — Peach Pundit

  4. Pingback: The LaFayette Underground » Daily Update: Aug. 21, 2014 » News Beneath the News in LaFayette & Walker County Georgia

  5. Pingback: Enough Is Enough | Obi's Sister

Have something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s