Words V: Compromise

Compromise (verb): Settle a dispute by mutual concession.

Compromise can be a noble action. It is something that leads one from an extremist position and actively helps in avoiding acts of conflict and war. It’s an action to which we should aspire, and yet an action that evokes terror to those in power. When asked to compromise to avoid the upcoming fiscal crisis, House Speaker John Boehner, balks, insisting that Obama intention to raise taxes on the wealthy “will destroy jobs in America.”Boehner, like many other in the Republican Party, are wedded to a pledge of not raising taxes and believe that to compromise is to sully this position, or, as the dictionary says: to weaken a reputation or principle by accepting standards that are lower than is desirable. A good example of this is what happened to New York when it was compromised by the tidal surge of Hurricane Sandy or what has happened to the public reputation of David Petraeus in admitting to his extra-marital affair.

Mr. Petraeus and Ms. Broadwell

But this not the understanding of the word when opposing groups are asked to seek compromise. As absurd as it is to think, even those negotiating the current dispute for the National Hockey League believe this as well. Players’ representative Donald Fehr and League Commissioner Gary Bettman remain entrenched in their positions, 56 days into the lockout and only a short time from potentially cancelling yet another season. They don’t seem to understand that if there is no hockey, there is no revenue…and leads us to another interesting word: extinction.