ne·go·ti·a·tion [ni-goh-shee-ey-shuh n]
1.mutual discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement: the negotiation of a treaty.
Why does the word negotiation keep being used in the fiscal cliff news reports? There are no negotiations. A negotiation requires an agreement to be worked out that satisfies all parties involved. In this republicans and democrats. Republicans want to cut spending. Democrats to raise taxes.
Therefore when John Boehner, the republican with the final say, says that he’s willing to raise taxes and yet Obama and Harry Reid aren’t willing to even consider spending cuts, how does that qualify as a negotiation? It isn’t. It’s a stubborn demand by people who are willing to let the cliff come because the adoring media has not dared to even suggest that they are not bargaining in good faith and in fact painted them as the saviors without ever questioning whether or not they actually make any sense.
This is a perfect representation of the false mentality of having peace without war. A mentality that exists in America’s elites and largely dictates our foreign policies.
If you want peace, prepare for war.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
If you want something, you have to be prepared to fight for it, even if what you want is to not have to fight.
Korea, Vietnam, Iran, the Balkans, Somalia, Iraq. All situations where the United States was not prepared to commit itself to a fight in the 20th century and lost. Regardless of motives or reason, if you want to win you have to be willing to go and get it. Victory is not presented with an engraved plaque by a white gloved butler on a silver platter, it is fought for and earned. It requires sacrifice and commitment.
Thermopylae, to Bunker Hill, Waterloo, the Alamo, Gettysburg, the Ardennes Forest, Iwo Jima. All fought for because they must be fought. Crying for peace does not help you when the enemy does not care for your demands. He will not stop because you don’t care to defend yourself, in fact it motivates him even more to drive his bayonet into your belly.
What we see in these fiscal cliff negotiations is the false belief by some that they can achieve a mutually agreeable outcome without willing to fight for the very points they want or so claim to represent. They are not willing to make a stand and state their case. They are caving in because they believe that they can have peace without war, that without standing up for what they believe in the other side will be overcome with compassion and treat them equally.
To sell out on negotiations that are hardly even being negotiated is to sell out the entire idea of not just smaller government, but of sensible government, an affordable government is not too much to ask.
On this issue John Boehner and Barack Obama could each be represented by a quote from Sun Tzu’s legendary book, The Art of War.
For Obama he has applied this maxim;
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
For Boehner, he is unfortunate to be applied with this;
If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.
It’s quite simple really, republicans lost this fight the moment the man who represented them, Boehner, gave up. There can be no hope for victory once you have surrendered yourself to the mercy of your enemy.