Day 17: Compromise

Compromise: one of my favorite 10 letter words (right behind zygomatics). We hear incredibly boring people without any semblance of a sense of humor often quip: “a good compromise leaves both sides unhappy”.

Well, Martin the accountant, you’re right. Compromises, by their nature, involve both sides giving up something so that they can come to a somewhat reasonable solution. But how much are we willing to give up?

When it comes to a dinner debate, I’m often willing to step down from my level 14 spice request for our shared Pad Kee Mao Thai dinner to meet my wife closer to her preferred level of 0 spice. I can grumble about it, but I still get to eat the delicious Thai food.

I’m more than willing to compromise on the number of sardine cans I store in the pantry. It’s a valid point: 10 is more than I’ll use at any one time.

But recently, I watched a clip of a local high school meeting where members of the crowd were standing and holding the Nazi salute, meeting no opposition whatsoever. I’m not sure how anyone of moderate values can compromise on that. Do we have to? Is a political agenda really worth partnering with actual Nazis?

I don’t know where I draw the line for my own compromise standards, but I’d say it’s somewhere between the acceptable number of sardine cans to store in the pantry and chatting with Nazis as if we just disagree on how our taxes are being spent.

To be clear, I’m not advocating violence, but I don’t think this type of expression should be tolerated. These people need to be shown that we won’t allow hatred to go unchallenged. Through clear messaging, reasonable debate, and respectful engagement, we need to show that hate speech is intolerable no matter which side of the political system we support.

If you consider yourself to be a moderate, this has to be one compromise you can make.

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