No Compromise, e.g., Walls as Part of Border? (EP.96)

No Compromise

Summary

Compromise, or the lack thereof, is much in the news. In the political arena, the voices calling for compromise are currently credited as being the more rational. For example, the part of the secure borders discussion focusing on the use of walls has led to calls for “splitting the difference” between President Trump wants in funding, and what Democratic leaders are willing to fund.   

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack what it means to compromise; where compromise works and produces desirable results, and where it does not. And the “does not” part is by far the majority.

Transcript

Compromise, or the lack thereof, is much in the news. In the political arena, the voices calling for compromise are currently credited as being the more rational. For example, the part of the secure borders discussion focusing on the use of walls has led to calls for “splitting the difference” between what President Trump wants in funding, and what Democratic leaders are willing to fund.   

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack what it means to compromise; where compromise works and produces desirable results, and where it does not. And the “does not” part is by far the majority.

Compromise can be effective, i.e., it can produce desired results in Zero Sum situations. A zero sum situation or game, is one where one person or groups wins, and the other must lose. And for as rare as those situations are, most of us treat all situations like zero sum games, one that must have both a winner and a loser. If you see the winner as +1, and the loser as -1, then you can see that the sum, “+1 and -1”, is zero. Here’s a couple examples; who washes the dishes and sports games. If a couple is discussing dinner dishes, this zero sum game clearly lends itself to compromise. One solution could be to alternate nights. Easy. In sports, another zero sum situation, no compromise is even discussed. Both teams want to win.

In politics there are very few zero sum situations, but both sides want to win anyway–and have the other side lose. That’s a formula for having everyone lose. Most, especially politicians and the press, and too many voters, treat every situation like one that must have both a winner and a loser. The use of walls as part of border security is a current example. This is not a zero sum situation, and this is not an example of where compromise can lead to the best results–or even good results. Professionals, e.g., engineers and other subject matter experts, not politicians, should make the decision about if and where walls should be used to meet the goal of making our borders as secure as possible, with the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Once that question has been answered by the non-political experts, politicians need to fund the amount required by the solution. The answer, not subject to compromise, could be anywhere from $0 to $10B. Any compromise would weaken the solution.

Compromise is often held up as the intelligent, emotionally stable way of reaching agreement with another while preserving – or even enhancing – the relationship.

Careful; with the way compromise is being taught, it’s a dangerous thought process that often leads us to the wrong conclusion. Okay, how on earth could compromising be a trap? Because “splitting the difference” or “meeting others half-way” may easily lead to the wrong solution. A solution that can not only be sub-optimal, but can hurt the relationship and be bad for both sides, as well as others who are affected by it.

Today’s Key Point: The point here is not to get rid of the notion of cooperating with others and working things out; the point is to drop the idea that splitting the difference is the way to do it. Substitute finding the “best solution” for “splitting the difference” and good things happen. Splitting the difference is easy; kinda the lazy way of figuring things out. Finding the best solution takes a bit more time and mental energy, but it is well worth it.

Compromise has been described as a solution where both sides feel equally screwed. There is some intended humor here, but this illustrates a core point: Neither side got what they wanted, and both feel like they gave up something for an easing of tensions. Drop all thought that we, our side or our party, must have its way; drop that definition of winning. Replace it thinking that seeks creative solutions that create win-wins for everyone. Remember, it is win-win, or no deal.

This approach works. But nothing works until you do it. Try this and let me know.

All of this ties to the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

If we apply those two core principles simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

The Founders, Revolution 1.0,  were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. . In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean my “acting.”

  • Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
  • Comment in the blogs. Let others know that you are thinking.
  • Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
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  • From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.

Revolution 1.0 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and going forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.

Join me. Let’s grow this together.

Links and References

Zero Sum Game

Compromise

America First?

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do reach out with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind.  You can email me at will@revolution2-0.org, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is like running a winning race, then stopping just before the finish line.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
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Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
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2 Responses

  1. Marsha Reply

    Collaboration not compromise is how a win-win situation happens.

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