Presidencies of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton offer stark
contrasts in "the fine art of compromise".
Compromise was at the heart of Bill Clinton's
greatest successes, in both budgetary talks at home and peace
talks overseas, producing years of relative peace and
unprecedented prosperity. However, compromise was also at the
heart of his greatest failure, in his personal dealings made all
George W. Bush came into office pledging to be
uncompromising in his principles. And indeed, it was his moral
courage that led and sustained our nation through its darkest
However, his relatively uncompromising stands,
in both budgetary and diplomatic matters, have polarized
positions, throughout the nation and around the world; and we
Americans now face enormous costs, in terms of both monetary and
human sacrifice, from growing deficits at home and looming war,
and nation-building, overseas -- Herculean tasks with which we
can expect little help from those we have historically
considered our friends but from whom we have regrettably become
all too alienated.
Somewhere between being too flexible and being
too rigid lies real human strength.