November 21, 2012

Compromise should not be a dirty word

Letter to the Editor

Can we hope to hope?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines compromise as "a settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions."

We do it all the time, especially within our non-dysfunctional family (formerly known as "a family").

One example that my wife of 54 years and I used when our three kids were little and scrapping over two cookies was to say, "You'll each get a whole half." That worked well for years, and we could put aside the fourth half for us to split.

Compromise is not a dirty word. A society that excludes compromise will tear itself apart. We notice that most elections end up about 49 percent and 51 percent, weird in itself. When there is no compromising each side asserts that the other is entirely lacking in merit. Can that be? Not one valid idea or purpose among essentially half the electorate? And later, when elections are reversed, the former meritless majority now becomes the meritless minority. Nothing plus nothing yields nothing.

There would seem to have been, according to each party's campaign advertising, not one honest candidate, good idea or purpose in evidence. We were told that America's political figures are basically phonies, low-lives and traitors. Now that's a tragic vision.

So two factions are in a canoe and floating toward a deadly waterfall. Some even deny there is a waterfall, but most just fight about which shore to paddle to for safety. They go over the falls; the canoe is dashed on the rocks and all perish.

So much for hate mongering and doing nothing.

 

Abbott Meader

Oakland

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