What America needs now- compromise

November 26, 2014

Mike Wilcox

Mike Wilcox

Thanksgiving is America’s day to give thanks. With families and friends, we sit down to a nice Thanksgiving dinner, and eat and pray like the Pilgrims once did.

This year my thoughts are more about fear, than thanks. I fear for my children and grandchildren that the America we grew up worshipping, will never be the world’s leader again. We are spiraling off that pedestal we have occupied for the last couple hundred years. We can blame many outside influences for that, but really, in my opinion the blame lies with us- Americans.

We have a political system that is revered throughout the civilized world, yet Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals cannot find common ground. I believe the most prolific word in the English language is COMPROMISE, but at the highest levels of our government, the thought of compromise doesn’t seem to exist.

Thus a government “for the people” is quickly becoming a government of gridlock. Our leaders, because they cannot muster the compassion to compromise, are failing us. Let’s be real, it is so much easier to be an obstructionist than to engage with those across the political aisle. If our Democracy is going to work, we must compromise.

Sitting in front of the television a few nights ago, I watched the Ferguson, Missouri prosecutor announce in great detail why there would be no indictment of the police officer who killed an unarmed black man. The rioting and looting that occurred that night reminded me of Detroit in 1967. I fear race relations have regressed to the 1960’s where disenfranchised African Americans felt rioting was the best means to bring attention to their plight.

I’m not sure I understand. It’s nearly 50 years later. I believe America has made great strides in race relations. I no longer feel minorities are disenfranchised. But then again, I’m not of color. What I don’t get is why the rioting is taking place.

I heard over and over how African American leaders were not included in the planning process to quell the expected rioters once the grand jury decision was announced. For two months those in authority had the opportunity to engage with minority leaders, and seriously attempt to make race relations in Ferguson better. Was that done? Doesn’t seem like it.

Again compromise should have been the order of the day, but instead those in authority went their way, and those thinking they are disenfranchised went their way. The result- more riots.

As American citizens we need to understand we are not the enemy. Conservatives need to realize liberals are Americans with ideas as well, and consensus should be sought, not put on the back burner. Those in authority in Ferguson and elsewhere need to understand that poor African Americans are not their enemy. Treat them like peers, and stop treating them like thugs. Vice Versa, the disenfranchised need to respect those in authority.

The real enemy is not from within. The real enemy is ISIS. This rag tag band of marauders, has become very sophisticated over the past couple of years. Our failed foreign policy in which we thought it was best to take down Khaddafi and Saddam, has led to the formation of ISIS.

ISIS has control of vast amounts of territory in Iraq, Syria and Libya. There are concerns that they will eventually conquer Baghdad and God forbid, Gaza. Israel and Hamas lob missiles back and forth frequently, but to eliminate Hamas in the Gaza Strip (and West Bank) would leave a power vacuum much like Iraq, and the fear is ISIS would step in and take over with their radical brand of Islam.

ISIS has vast amounts of cash reserves and weapons, having conquered oil wells and militias on their way to amassing territory. We have been bombing some of their hideouts, but it hasn’t put a halt to their illicit activities.

My fear is that ISIS will eventually topple most of the Middle East and Northern Africa. My fear is it will lead to a massive war, like this world has never seen. I hope I am dead wrong. I would feel much better however, if we in our own country would practice the art of compromise.

Revolutionary War pundit, Patrick Henry’s “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” couldn’t be more apropos in these modern times. Wake up America, and start compromising.

 

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