Compromise is Not a Dirty Word

9 Nov

From the first entry for the definition of compromise:

“a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.”

When did the word compromise become a dirty word? Compromise is not bad. It’s not awful. It’s what this country was founded upon. Don’t believe me? Take a trip in history with me back to the birth of this nation. Back to the creation of the document which set the framework for the United State of America, the Constitution.

During the creation of the Constitution there were numerous compromises which had to be reached to get a document everyone could approve. The Connecticut Compromise is one of the most, if not the most, influential compromise of the convention . Yes the word compromise was used. Still sound dirty? Read on and see if it does.

The Connecticut Compromise bridged the gap on how the legislative body of the new government would be represented. On one side were those who favored the “Virginia Plan” and the other the “New Jersey” plan. Men discussed, debated and listened to arguments from each other. Was it lively and spirited? I would imagine so. People usually are when talking about ideas and philosophies. Sound familiar? Two sides passionate about their beliefs, ideas and philosophies?

In the end an initial proposal was made, and while initially rejected, eventually it was approved and then modified to eventually frame how the bicameral legislature would initially work in the federal government. This framework would stand the test of time until the 17th Amendment was, unfortunately in my opinion, adopted in 1913.

Of course other compromises, large and small, had to be reached to get to the Constitution which was ratified by the states and would become the final law of the United State of America. But why what is the point to this talk of compromise now? It’s really quite simple. Since the 2000 election this country has become increasingly polarized. Both sides play to their “base” and by doing so we lose the ability to come together and find some common ground to keep the country going.

For those on the right, the biggest slap in the face of not working together on a compromise came with the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). If someone is really honest with themselves, and looks how this pieces of legislation was handled one should come to the conclusion it was a blueprint of partisan nonsense. I am not sure which example from the left would be as equal but would entertain some examples as I know there must be some which come close.

Now we are left with two sides who do not want any laws, policies or ideals shoved down the others throats. Yet the side which feels it got the short end of the stick is looking on how it can stick it to the other side when the rolls are reversed. Going down that road will get us only one place, divided.

So which party will be the mature one to sincerely offer to sit down and work with the other to do the will and work of the people? Which party will look beyond their base, beyond the echo chamber of cheerleaders and do what must be done to save this country? Those are the proverbial twenty-thousand dollar questions. The answer must come quickly because the clock is ticking down faster and faster to the final buzzer.


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