Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Most Obsolete Word in the English Language
It appears that the most terrible thing that a politician anywhere in the world can do is to use the word compromise. Politicians have become more doctrinaire than ever, with discussions described as stand-offs and any comment from a member of a different party described as belligerent, uninformed, and adversarial. A certain amount of defense of your position is good posturing as part of the negotiation process (See my book: DECISION TIME! Better Decisions for a Better Life.), but frequently politicians aren't negotiating at all, but merely trying to score points and develop issues for the next election. Compromise should be the lubricant that makes governments work. Bombast only succeeds in minimizing the public's respect for their elected and appointed officials. In many conversations I hear citizen members of both parties agree that solutions to national problems aren't that difficult if the people in power would only use the second most obsolete term in the English language, common sense. In the field of law, the yardstick for evaluating an action is frequently: What would a reasonable person do? Why can't politicians and government leaders (most of whom are lawyers) ask themselves that same question, and act upon their answers to it?