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How To Get Things Done: Compromise

Updated on December 6, 2017
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1964. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

World War II British Leader

Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom

The Compromise of 1850

A famous example of compromise despite a wide divergence of strongly held opinions.
A famous example of compromise despite a wide divergence of strongly held opinions. | Source

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, the great World War II allied leader, human beings are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Churchill was speaking, of course, of Russia, but I think his colorful description applies to the behavior of people everywhere as well.

Personally, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, so it took me a while to learn that the majority of us rarely choose to exercise our brains if we can find a way to avoid it.

Never Admit Fault?

Moreover, we almost never admit fault if we can find a way to rationalize it.

It's human nature, I suppose.

With few exceptions, for instance, most newsmen (that includes you, too, ladies!) much prefer to wait until deadline before getting started on a story; the truth is that most of us actually do our best work that way!

But this column is not about newsmen or deadlines; it's about you, me and the rest of the world -- and how we often can be contentious, argumentative and intransigent at the wrong time.

Case in point: The notorious crime bill.

President Clinton is the one man in the United States with the power and influence to get something done about the burgeoning problems of crime in this country, especially crimes of violence.

Uphill Battle Against Crime

Clinton has done his job; he's put the issue on the front burner by having Congress consider a package(s) designed to begin a new uphill battle against crime.

Sure, some of us have our own ideas about what should be done, and how, but it's Clinton, not us, who has the ultimate responsibility to lead the way.

In a democracy, we express our views freely and openly; that's the way it should be.

Time to Compromise

But, when we've had our say, and the nation faces a serious problem -- and what problem is more serious than crime and violence today? -- it becomes time to put Humpty-Dumpty back together, time to compromise, time to think of what's best for the country.

People who have legitimate objections to the crime bill, such as religious, ethical and humane considerations relating to capital punishment, may have difficulty finding a way to compromise. That's understandable!

But there's no excuse, at a time like this, for out-and-out, in-your-face politics.

Bold New Steps Needed

Everyone knows this country must take some bold new steps to quell the fears of Americans who are seeing violence become a constant, everyday concern.

We obviously need legislation now that will provide more police and a greater effort toward prevention of crime and violence.

So let's get off the dime, find a way to compromise, and get a bill passed!

Baseball Impasse

Speaking of compromise, the major league baseball owners and players -- something of an enigma themselves -- might consider the idea.

While the owners maintain that they are not making enough money, they sit idle while the turnstiles at stadiums across the country remain mute, costing them untold millions of dollars.

The players, meanwhile, not only lose significant amounts of money, but risk the best part of their season, their statistics and a chance at making new records, not to mention the enmity of the fans.

C'mon guys. Let's play ball!

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Aug. 20, 1994. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages.

Should Your Congressmen Stick to Their Guns Or Try Harder to Compromise?

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The Articles of Confederation: Before the Great Compromise


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    • compu-smart profile image


      12 years ago from London UK

      Hi William...Compromise is my favorite word and such an important word-tool to settle so many disagreements. The only word which i detest that stops this word being implemented is the word stubborn!!

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      What can I say, Earth Angel? Blessings to you, too!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      12 years ago

      You are most welcome William!! You should still be writing for newspapers!! You should be syndicated all around the country!! We are just fornutate to have you here at HubPages!! Blessings on you, your family, your golf game and your keyboard!! Earth Angel!!

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks, MrMarmalade and Earth Angel. You make my day!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      12 years ago

      Another GREAT Hub William!! You were/are sooooooooooo ahead of your time!! Blessings!! Earth Angel!!

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      12 years ago from Sydney

      I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Aug. 20, 1994.

      I am jealous you wrote all these hubs 20 years ago. If I coulve raed the stars some 60 yeas ago, I might have been pushing a button today, instaed of lots of buttons

      Good hubs. thanks

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Jormins, I think old-timers who were fans in 1994 were seriously discouraged by the strike. Many of my friends and acquaintances have lost interest in MLB. The high cost of going to the ballpark has changed, I think, the profile of those who go to the ballpark regularly. I've always been a Yankees fan, but the high owners' profits, the high players' salaries and inflated cost of admission, parking, food and drinks has taken much of the fun out of the game..... Bob, with 2,000.000 in our jails today, I don't think we have room for any more.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I have a very simple crime bill. If you're found guilty.. YOU GOT TO JAIL !!!

    • jormins profile image


      12 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I know MLB thinks the '94 strike wasn't a big deal but I still don't watch baseball anymore. My White Sox (I liked them when I was a kid) were going to win the series w/ Frank Thomas before the strike. Now I could care less about baseball. It ranks right above hockey on my list.


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