Archives for 30 July 2012

Jonah Goldberg on the limits of compromise

If I say we need one hundred feet of bridge to cross a one-hundred-foot chasm that makes me an extremist. Somebody else says we don’t need to build a bridge at all because we don’t need to cross the chasm in the first place. That makes him an extremist. The third guy is the centrist because he insists that we compromise by building a fifty-foot bridge that ends in the middle of thin air? As an extremist I’ll tell you that the other extremist has a much better grasp on reality than the centrist does. The extremists have a serious disagreement about what to do. The independent who wants to split the difference has no idea what to do and doesn’t want to bother with figuring it out.

—Jonah Goldberg, The Tyranny of Clichés