In a recent article on “compromise”, I used a continuum running from “sewage” on the left (that of course was a random selection of positional labels) to “Perfect Wine” (what ever that turns out to be) on the right, with pure, clean water in the exact center.
With the possible exception of “sewage”, none of those things ever occur exactly that way.
“Perfect” with respect to wine is purely subjective with the declaration being dependent not only on the wine-snob making it, but upon the purpose to which the wine will contribute–perfect for a roast of beef is not likely to be acceptable for pasta Alfredo. Or Macaroni and Cheese. Or Pizza. (I for one think jug wine is perfect for quite a few of the things I eat.)
The actual purity of the water may depend on where the water came from–a mountain stream directly from a melting glacier? Where no deer, bears, elephants, ??? have slacked their thirst? Did you know that fish live in reservoirs?
The one that amuses me is cities and towns along large rivers, with their water works upstream of town, and their sewage plant downstream of town. Next to the water works of the next town down.
Or wells on farms. With privies, barnyards, or high-chemical-load farmland nearby.
So. A truer picture of the continuum is one that runs from unmistakeable sewage that only a person in the direst of straits would drink to some kind impossible-to-attain wine at the other end.
So it seems to me that we should (in the political arena for which this all is metaphor) think in terms of a fairly wide range of stuff on one end that is to some degree “acceptable”, ranging from stuff we really need to avoid if we can, improve what we can not avoid by removeing the more objectionable components while keeping track of the true costs and the possibility that we could get better cheaper.
At the other end of the acceptable range is what we would really like to have, at a price we can probably handle (some of us believe it would in fact be cheapest, by orders of magnitude).
But in between there is a broad area where compromise is possible and correct, where “bad”, “wrong”, or “evil” will not be deliberately introduced, or deliberately allowed.
In the final analysis, we need to not let the quest for “perfect” to deny the “pretty good”, “good enough” or “better than what we have” parts of the range.