All the choices are bad. We should be debating the role of government and how it can be financed. Instead, our political leaders are making proposals that would worsen deficits. Trump backs more tax cuts; Democrats advance expensive new health benefits and guaranteed jobs for all.

Or consider immigration. As a society, the United States has a decent record in assimilating millions of newcomers. But, as today’s turmoil demonstrates, too much immigration can fracture society and radicalize politics. The magnitude of immigration is undeniable. One in 4 people living in the United States is either an immigrant (41 million, 13 percent of the population) or the U.S.-born child of immigrants (37 million, or 12 percent), reports a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Against that backdrop, reasonable compromises should be possible. We ought to be debating the terms: a path to citizenship for most of today’s illegal immigrants; some sort of wall; strict penalties on employers for hiring illegal immigrants; a switch from family connections to skill-based immigration.