"Pragmatic compromise". Oh please
Here's something you don't see every day. We have a university president extolling the 3/5th compromise as an example of the highest civic virtue:
One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.
Some might suggest that the constitutional compromise reached for the lowest common denominator—for the barest minimum value on which both sides could agree. I rather think something different happened. Both sides found a way to temper ideology and continue working toward the highest aspiration they both shared—the aspiration to form a more perfect union. They set their sights higher, not lower, in order to identify their common goal and keep moving toward it.
Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.
That "pragmatic compromise" was in service of a system that led to a bloody civil war and centuries of suffering for millions of African Americans. The "higher aspiration" wasn't met in that "compromise" it was forged in blood on battlefields filled with hundreds of thousands of casualties (and nearly two centuries later in the streets of Southern cities.) To use that as an example of how pragmatic compromise leads to the greater good over time is shockingly perverse.