Compromise: the new four letter word? update
A long time ago George Carlin created a list of words you can’t say on TV. His argument was on the disposition of civility verse freedom of speech. Today it seems that we added some new words to this list like Liberal, Right Wing, and worst of all compromise. It seems that no one wants to compromise anymore. At one time even when we had deep divides in the past our leaders as well as individuals could meet in the middle for what is best for all (even if not what we feel is best). At some point we decided that our views are not just right, but the only thing that can be done. Anything else would be a disaster for our society. This is even to the point where if you would even voice an opinion slightly different from theirs you will be held responsible for all of life’s ills. We see it all the time on Cable TV News where fair and balanced is code for fear and hatred or where lean forward really means lean to the extreme left. Now the idea of no compromise is really nothing new many of our founding fathers believed that compromised was immoral yet many including Benjamin Franklin compromised their personal beliefs to create a nation. Lincoln was willing to let slavery go on if it meant keeping the union together. This was despite is beliefs on and actions toward abolition.” Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally” (Abraham Lincoln).
Hash and Nasty
Some say compromise the ability is to make no one happy. At some point the idea that we should be happy about the outcome, profit from it, or even prevent someone else from profiting from it has become more important that working to benefit all Americans. The idea that one group has all the right answers has turned our ability to debate into two groups talking at each other rather than with each other. Because I said so is the order of the day. To add insult to the disagreement we question the intelligence and motivations of the counterpoint whenever we hear an argument that is even slightly different from ours. Modern entertainment uses comedy to make social commentary. Shows such as Saturday Night Live on NBC use mocking caricature as entertainment.
At some point we lost the ability to even be civil with each other. To a person from the left a gun owner is a raging anti-government gun tooting loony who wants to turn the streets into a shooting gallery, while anyone who wants even simple laws on gun control is a fascist, communist Nazi looking to turn the country into the one from the book 1984. A debate on gun control vs. the rights of owners becomes an all or nothing slugfest with the reality of what has happened or what may happen second to the nightmarish horror of either every school becoming a free for all shootout or jackbooted thugs kicking in the doors to force your children to gay marry while taking drugs.
Lies and the lying lairs that tell them
An argument can be made for the idea that allowing some regulation will eventually lead to the complete prohibition. When Ohio passed the current smoking laws they had promised that some organizations (private clubs, bars, and organizations such as the VFW) will be able to allow smoking, but when the law was passed all such groups where informed the exemptions where not going to be allowed. Then you have the City of New York where they regulate the size of cups because the residents of that city can’t be trusted to do what is best for them. Then there is the argument that you will need a 30 round magazine to defend your home because the five or six home invaders will fight to the last man to take what is yours. Neither side is willing to compromise or even try and meet. This leaves the responsible gun owner with no real representation or voice in the government.
Will we ever see a time when our government (or any group of people) can come together and compromise for what is best for all?