Compromise is what fuels American progress

Compromise is not evil. It is not wrong, nor is it something to be avoided. In truth, compromise is the very fuel of our nation’s progress and the one thing that keeps it on a measured course away from harmful extremes. Yet the growing partisanship and divisions in our country have led us to somehow believe the opposite. Instead of trying to see other points of view and come to a solution that is agreeable to all parties, we now look at the other side as though they are the enemy. And who would ever give in to one's enemy?

How have we forgotten that the very foundation of this country, the document that so many of us believe to be inspired from above, was a tremendous compromise by all involved? Where would we be today if one particular group within the Constitutional Convention decided to adopt the attitudes that seem so prevalent in our society today? In fact, looking back through the lens of history we learn that most significant historic moments in our government involved great compromise. Not only is compromise not an evil that should be avoided, it is also necessary for the health of a representative government and essential if any progress is ever to be made.

Compromise has a centering effect and helps keep our nation on a steady course. It protects our nation from extreme viewpoints and knee-jerk reactions that could have terrible long-term consequences. Instead of looking at the divisions in our country as terrible, we should embrace our differing viewpoints because disagreement brings in new ideas and perspectives which make the whole better. In other words, no single person or group has a monopoly on truth, wisdom or good ideas. In any other environments, differing viewpoints would be viewed as a strength and a way to ensure that as many ideas as possible are taken into consideration.

In politics, we have abandoned these principles. Ego, selfishness and party power have replaced wisdom and best practices. The truth is, the solutions that are created when differing viewpoints are considered are almost always superior and tend to answer the needs of the whole in a more complete way. This is why compromise should be embraced instead of avoided. Compromise between two parties who disagree will always be superior to decisions made by one party who is trying to enforce its will over the other. This centering power of compromise should be embraced and sought after. Those who are concerned with the good of the nation over the good of a party would certainly choose this route.

Without compromise, there can be no progress. Never in the history of our nation has there been a consensus about how to do anything, nor will this condition ever exist. History teaches us that we should avoid efforts to make or force everyone to think the same. History also teaches us that when those in power seek this path, the progress of the nation stalls and serious consequences follow. Compromise is and always has been the fuel of our nation’s progress. Choosing policies that are centered on compromise is what allows bills to pass and our nation to move forward. How is it that with all the historical evidence in favor of the power of compromise, it is now seen as weakness instead of strength? In forms of government such as ours, compromise should always be the standard and the goal. When our representatives refuse to engage in this important part of democracy they should be replaced with those wise enough to understand its value.

Without compromise, extremes will rise, divisions will increase and all progress will halt. The solution is to view each and every American's ideas with respect and consideration. No one should be seen as lesser because they disagree, and no law or policy should be put in place without serious and thoughtful consideration of the viewpoints of the country as a whole. We must have compromise if we are to make America great again.


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