I used to believe that to be thought of as “uncompromising” was a good thing, a positive attribute. To be uncompromising means to be resolute, determined, purposeful, steadfast, and strong.
But I no longer believe that being uncompromising is such a good thing. Well, at least not in the context of American politics. Because in that context it means stubborn, intransigent, pigheaded, inflexible, rigid, obdurate, and obstinate.
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones famously wrote (and sang)
“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need”
What this country needs is a functioning federal government where our elected representatives at least attempt to get for us, their constituents, what we need.
In order to be functional, our representatives — Republican, Democratic, and independent — are supposed to meet, present the views and desires of the people who elected them, and try to come to some kind of compromise through negotiation.
But compromise requires that all sides sacrifice a little in order to move the ball forward. It requires a bipartisan effort where legislators are willing to find a middle ground in order to achieve a greater good over self-interests.
Instead, “compromise” has become a dirty word in Congress. To be willing to negotiate is a sign of weakness and of party disloyalty. As a result, our government is in gridlock, with little getting done on behalf of the people.
Because of our uncompromising lawmakers, we, the people, are not only not getting what we want, we are not getting what we need.
And now, just for fun —