Compromise is not a dirty word

Would all of the liberal conservatives and the conservative liberals please stand up? Thank you. You are the people who will save us from the fools, the fanatics and the fearful. You have a big job ahead of you and unfortunately no clear path to follow to get it done. But you really must search for and find that path, because the one we’re on now is leading to a very dead end.

Every time Mr. Trump makes one of his calculated – or miscalculated – statements that totally contradicts a previous statement, or throws a few of those oh-so-politically incorrect terms around in his tweets or speeches, the liberal media (both mainstream and social ) pounces on it, buffs it up and waves it like a kid with a sparkler. This of course incites the wrath of ‘conservatives’ who wrap it in piles of angry rhetoric to lessen its effect.

What comes out of all that is more anger, more frustration, more digging in of heels on both sides, and not a damn bit of good. We all have to stop reacting like 4-year-olds who haven’t yet learned that the Stones song is true: “You can’t always get what you want” – and certainly not always when you want it.

As Michael Bloomberg said in an opinion piece on August 5, we need to start channeling the “disgust and dismay” that rises like a wave each time something new and horrifying happens. Like a wave it sinks back into the deep, sometimes leaving scattered debris, but not significantly changing the geography of the shoreline.

As a country that was built and thrives on diversity, we the people had better start acting like adults who can think rationally. The issues we face call for empathy, compassion, good will and good sense on both sides. Surely those qualities have not been lost – though they seem to be in very limited supply.

The need to have thoughtful, non-combative discussions about current and future problems to be faced is vital to the survival of democracy as we (used to?) know it. Disagreement is not the same as warfare. Compromise is the solution – or it can be if those on both sides of an issue can listen to each other’s opinion with a genuine desire to solve rather than create problems.