Sunday, December 21, 2008


If we (at least some of us) have learned nothing in the past few years, it should be that reaching across the isle is an exercise in futility. Call it "bi-partisanship", the "new tone", or just plain old civility, when you set out to make a compromise for the sake of "getting something done" you will always come up on the short end of the stick.

First, let's look at the word compromise. From our first years on this planet, we are taught that compromising is a good way to settle a dispute and work out differences. I disagree.

I have found that in most instances life presents us, whenever their is a dispute, only one party is correct in their assertions or assessments. Occasionally, both parties might be wrong, but after careful examination of the facts and evidence available, rarely are both parties right.
That means in order to make a fair compromise, one party is required to be a little more right, but another party is required to be a little more wrong.

Imagine two firemen arguing about how best to put out a fire. One fireman suggests that they throw water on the fire. The other fireman disagrees and suggests that they throw gasoline on the fire. They "compromise" and decide to throw both water and gasoline on the fire, all in an effort to get "something" done. Though the guy who compromised toward water is now a little more correct, he still throws his share of gasoline on the fire along with his compromise share of water.

The guy who was actually right in the beginning has acquiesced, and is now obligated to throw his compromise share of gasoline on the now raging inferno. The end result is the death of both firemen and an out of control fire that is now left to others to put out.

Had the party who knew he was right stood his ground, both firefighters would still be alive today. Unfortunately, he decided to engage in a "new tone", and by default he compromised his principals and everything he ever leaned about fighting fires. And for what?

He lived in a world where being wrong was no longer something to be embarrassed about. Media outlets commonly gave as much air time to those who were clueless as they did with with those who used common sense. There was no longer shame attached to being wrong. In fact, people were taught at an early age that every one is an equal and criticism is actually "hate speech". So now, even though he was right, it was acceptable in some circles to throw gas on a fire. So the other guy was considered to be equally qualified to make decisions and never questioned, nuch less ridiculed for being an idiot. When he spoke out, he was pressured to give in for the sake of getting something done.

Too bad for us that this mentality has infected our allegedly representative democracy. Our elected officials are more worried about being called a "zealot" or a "partisan" than they are about what actually happens to our country. Standing up for the principals that have a time tested track record of success and prosperity is no longer an option. If it doesn't bring high numbers in a focus group or opinion pole, it doesn't see the light of day.

Why do we do this? Do we ever get anything for our attempts to "reach across the isle"? No. Unless you count a bloody stump. Democrats learned this lesson decades ago, but we continue to insist on taking a punch and asking for another. In an age where it is getting harder and harder to tell a Republican from a Democrat, I can't help but wonder why we even have a party anymore.

Until we are willing to stand up for what we know is right and start dropping some ideological nukes on the liberal establishment, we are going to continue to lose elections and probably the nation as a whole. I'm looking at you John McCain!