We have sadly come to a point where compromise is assigned virtue and principle is deemed a vice. Hence, all the gnashing of teeth over gridlock. I say that’s nonsense. Principles are key to effective policy. I am a free marketer and a believer that government’s role should be limited to core areas of expertise, and that a robust free enterprise system, coupled with personal ethics and responsibility, lead to prosperity, personal accomplishment, and the ability to help the less fortunate.

And that’s why I scratch my head at some of the comments from Joe Calder, who spoke to his graduating class at Cary Academy and discussed the future for his generation with the Cary News. The headline of the story is “At Cary Academy, a call for self-Reliance.”  Sounds good, and Mr. Calder makes some comments I can agree with. But he also equates compromise with advancing democracy, and that’s where he and I part company. Compromising my core principles leads to poor policies.

As his graduating classmates go to the polls this fall for their first presidential election, they should reshape politics by looking to results instead of the scoreboard, said Calder, the liberal-leaning son of a corporate lawyer and a real-estate investor.

“When you start to look at politics like a game, with winners or losers, instead of a struggle to find out what the best policies are, then I really think you start to lose, in a sense, the virtues of democracy,” said Calder

With better education in civics and politics, he said, Americans could compromise more easily, run their government more efficiently, and cross old obstacles.

I’ll ask Mr. Calder the same question I ask other progressives who want “compromise.” Exactly which progressive principles are they willing to give up in order to achieve the compromise they believe is virtuous?