Negotiate is a Dirty Word

republicans and democratsIt’s sad that words like negotiate and compromise have become the equivalent of dirty words in today’s political environment.

Negotiation is essentially a method by which people settle differences and a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument and dispute.

Unfortunately, the art of negotiation has lost its value. What our country needs is a functioning federal government where our elected representatives at least attempt, through negotiation, 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” and “negotiate” have become dirty words in Congress. To be willing to negotiate with “the other side” 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.


This post is in response to the one-word word prompt, “negotiate” from Tales from the Mind of Kristian.

 

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

DC3CDBB7-1031-4AA7-B772-9AF04604FF16Compromise is a part of life. For example, if I want to do one thing and my wife wants to do something else, we compromise — and do what she wants. Because, you know, happy wife, happy life.

But in American politics these days, compromise is a dirty word. It’s a sign of weakness, of capitulation. It’s considered to be a zero-sum game, a situation in which one group can win something only by causing group to lose it.

As a result, there is legislative gridlock in Congress where key votes are strictly along party lines and any congressperson who doesn’t vote that way is considered to be a traitor to his or her party.

No wonder Americans are frustrated and angry with the government and with Congress, where it’s always party above country. And we have an imbecile in the Oval Office and a Cabinet where the primary qualifiers for being on it are great wealth and incompetence for the role.

Perhaps for the greater good, our elected representatives should heed the words of the Rolling Stones:

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “compromise.”