Compromise: When did it become a dirty word?

I’ve been watching closely the happenings in our nation’s capital over the past few years. I’m struck with the reporting of how people on each side have decided that compromise is a dirty word. The only acceptable solution is the solution that their party has; anything less would be a catastrophe.

The extremes in each party feel that to give in and try to meet in the middle on issues is like putting manure in your mouth, chewing and swallowing.

But they seem to relish the idea of having the other side going through the experience.

The liberals seem to think that the right-wing conservatives are bible-thumping, religious fanatics that make self-righteous judgments on everything. The far right looks at the far left as nothing less than lunatic, free-loving hippies who just want money to fall from the skies to pay for anything we may need.

I would bet that if someone searched, they could find members of both groups who actually fit these descriptions, validating the other side to be right in their characterizations.

That may only just prove that it isn’t hard to find idiots in all walks of life.

But here we are in the United States of America. The home of the brave and the land of the free. Bring us your tired, your poor…

You know how it goes. Everyone is welcome. We love diversity.

But if you are on the left, just don’t bring us your right-wing conservatives.

If you are on the right, just don’t bring us your left-wing liberals.

There isn’t room here for them.

We can’t seem to wrap our heads around the fact that this country belongs just as much to one side of the aisle as it does to the other. No one is going to ever be able to have every law and every court decision support their ideologies. It is physically and literally impossible.

So is the solution to stop working with each other?

According to many news stories, that was exactly the solution put forward by an extreme. Don’t compromise. Block anything “they” bring up and put forward. We must hold out for it to be “our” way, because “our” way is the “right” way.

Sounds a little like the Israelis and the Palestinians. With the world looking on, the question is asked over and over “Why can’t they just learn to live together in peace?”

Time to look in the mirror. Are we heading for a similar fate? Are we getting so angry that we forget the virtues of love, compassion, and compromise?

Compromise is not a dirty word. When it comes to making laws and finding solutions, we live in a democracy where it is a consensus of the masses and we find the middle ground. Each extreme will NEVER get what they really want by that definition. It would seem ridiculous for laws to be enacted that are only supported by 20% of the population.

Right?

The more we can get to know each other and learn to work together, identifying what the real problem is, and for heaven’s sake leaving the need to gain power through the process out, but simply trying to find the “best” solution, the more we will move forward and get out of this stall we seem to be in.

And there are people out there, on both sides, who are doing just that. They are bravely meeting and talking and working with others at the risk and threat of the extremes to primary them out of a job or ostracize them from any future committees.

Here is the oxymoron: These are people who aren’t willing to compromise in the areas that it matters. They are not willing to compromise their character and commitment to serve the American people.

Because they are not willing to compromise on who they are, deep inside, as an individual, they have the freedom to find compromises that bring the best solutions for the public at large.

I’ve been watching. They are there.

At first, I thought I’d name some of these hard working, uncompromising people making compromises. I have found them in both parties.

But then I thought, no, I won’t name them.

Why don’t you look for them yourself and find people who fit that description?

Chances are our lists won’t match each other’s. You will find the good in people that I may miss.

Because isn’t that our job in a republic? Pay enough attention to what is going on that we know who the people are who share our ideals, our direction, our solutions?

Rather than arguing with each other about who is doing a great job and who should be fired, why don’t we look to support those we find to be uncompromising in their character, in their dedication, in their ability to step back and see the big picture that this country is, in fact, all of ours.

Let’s be uncompromising in our efforts to find ways to live together, with tolerance and respect, and understanding that when we work together, all focused in the same direction, we will more often than not, find the “right” way.

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