Compromise Isn’t the Answer

Compromise is one of those warm, fuzzy words that sound eminently reasonable. In reality, it is a tool that works extremely well in certain situations and is useless in others. You enjoy partying while your spouse craves quiet evening at home? A compromise that sometimes has you both surrounded by friends and has the two of you together in front of your fireplace at other times is a great idea. You can work out additional details such as occasional extra socializing for you (with same gender friends, please) or perhaps having only one other couple over, but this is the type of issue that a marriage can tolerate. 

What if you think that affairs spice up a marriage and your spouse believes in monogamy? Agreeing to limit affairs to once a year or agreeing to emotional but not physical adultery or physical but not emotional adultery isn’t going to cut it. There is no compromise possible on this issue, just as having half a child if one spouse wants children and the other doesn’t simply isn’t a feasible solution.

Sometimes, compromises temporarily hide an unsolvable difference but they leave the underlying friction festering. The Missouri Compromise of 1820, attempting to balance slave and free states, may have postponed the Civil War, but it didn’t eliminate slavery as an issue. In the final analysis pro and anti slavery advocates could not share a country. 

I was pretty young during the turmoil of the Sixties. Reading about what went on during that time makes me think that many people were probably very pessimistic about the future of America. Yet, not only is America still around, but there have been good years and many flourishing times since then. 

However, some of the ‘advances’ of those years, such as the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision are still sources of agitation. That ruling not only honored an activity that huge numbers of Americans see as morally reprehensible but also set a precedent for Justices to ‘find’ non-existent rights in the  Constitution based on their personal views. In the final analysis, compromise isn’t possible when it comes to certain core values. 

When compromise isn’t feasible, people reject their government. Certainly, large numbers (a third, a half, more than that?) of voters who are registered as Republicans spurn the party to which they nominally belong. While nobody right now is running as a third party candidate, an internal Republican third party already exists. Meanwhile, large numbers (a third, a half, more than that?) of Democrats reject the founding principles of this country, such as free speech and freedom of religion—specifically for Christians. Do these schisms represent differences that cannot be resolved, those areas where compromise is not possible? I simply do not know. Heading into 2016 we are certainly at a time of history where each of us needs to examine ourselves and discover where we take an uncompromising stand. 

Wishing you all a year of health, joy, peace and prosperity. I’d be honored if you would read my husband’s letter regarding our organization, the American Alliance of Jews and Christians










3 thoughts on “Compromise Isn’t the Answer”

  1. Thank you for the comments on compromise. In Pennsylvania, this word is taking such abuse as the various legislators squabble over the state budget that should have been ratified back in July. Each year in recent history our budget has come later and later in the year. I am one who does not want a compromise. There is nowhere else to go for raising taxes. It has already become a matter of taking from my gas budget to buy food, or from my food budget to buy medicine. Yet who do you think keeps using the word ‘compromise’? The ones who want to astronomically raise our taxes yet again. They want the resistance to fold. They have called anyone who wants to balance the budget (or stop raising taxes) such rich phrases as ‘fiscally irresponsible’ and ‘heedless of compromise’ (that one means they didn’t submit blindly when it was demanded of them). The governor always (ALWAYS) talks about how our children are suffering in the public schools, as if they have cold porridge and they are allotted one piece of coal a day. Their words are so twisted that one like ‘compromise’ looks like a cancerous growth among many such diseased entities.
    I almost think the Republicans are starting to grow a spine. In the meantime, I use words to the best and honest way I can. I contact my representatives. I raise my family. I reach out to others as much as I can. I fight against any and all taxes now- it is a matter of survival. It is a relief to see your post about the idea of compromise and what it might actually mean.
    I would welcome a third Great Awakening.

  2. An astute premise for an excellent Musing, once again! For several elections now, a great many American voters who could make a positive difference seem to have checked out of the political process. Why? They are fed up with a party who promise decisive action in order to get elected. Yet once elected, in practice they consistently engage in compromise with the party who seem intent on reducing us to pawns of a totalitarian state. And what is the game: an elite ruling political class seeking unmitigated political power and feathering their own nests.
    Compromise? American philosopher Emerson once said: ‘The devil can have his way if enough good men do nothing.’ Like the Rabbi pointed out today, ‘compassion’ is but a buzzword calculated to jerk tears from an electorate who can be steered by inducing their emotional responses and self-image. In reality ‘compassion’ is cognitive ‘doublespeak’ (Sorry, George Orwell!) to effect unthinking allegiance of those who do not think and easily fall into line to march right over the cliff. There is no ‘compassion’ in admitting a Trojan Horse filled with enemy who would conquer and destroy us.
    Heard this one? Republican and Democrat are walking down the street. They meet a homeless man. The Republican hands the man a $20 bill and the address of the nearest Employment Office. They walk on and again they meet a homeless man. This time the Democrat reaches into his pocket for $10. He hands the homeless man $5 and withholds the other $5 for ‘administrative costs.’ So it goes.

  3. There is only one cure for what ails us…submission to the laws and principles given by Jehovah – the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

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