With a new year in sight, The Economist’s editorial cartoonist, Kevin ("KAL") Kallaugher, has pulled together his favourite cartoons from 2013. This one from June relates to the NSA spying scandal (one of the year's biggest stories) and nicely illustrates a common English idiom.
President Obama is shown sitting in one of the pans of a balance scale. The pan is labelled 'Security'. He's accompanied by a PRISM agent (PRISM is the NSA's clandestine mass electronic surveillance program). In the other pan (labelled 'Privacy') a trio of agents are spying on a man using a laptop and phone (symbolizing the ordinary American - and foreign - citizen). Obama comments, "I think we have struck the right balance".
If you strike the right balance, you find a sensible middle point between two demands, extremes, courses of action, etc. • We have to strike the right balance between protecting our citizens and the privacy of all our citizens. Obama believes that the U.S. government has struck the right balance between security and privacy, but the media storm that followed Edward Snowden's revelations suggests that many people disagree. The cartoonist is playing on two meanings of the word 'balance' - the weighing apparatus in the image, and the word as used in the idiom.
Strike is an irregular verb: strike, struck, struck.