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Compromise Is Not a Dirty Word

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    The individual who shuns consensus and surrounds himself with like thinkers is destined to lead a minority. What is necessary to unite the rigid ideologue with the political expedient who believes in nothing?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    lifeamongtheordinary --

    I liked your article on compromise is not a dirty word. If you don't mind I'll extract a few of your words:

    "Those guided by strict adherence to ideology become dangerous, when they are unyielding and their majority moves to dominate self-righteously. They do not compromise. The governed only get to march, the music, cadence and beat pre-determined. Rigid minds leave no room for differing viewpoints, which reflect the spectrum of human needs.

    "For some in politics, it is sufficient that “the duty of the opposition is to oppose.” The need to suggest alternatives, to curb internal radicalism and irresponsibility, is irrelevant. Truth and reality have little substance in the shadows of political gamesmanship."

    You have elaborated more on these points in your article, and I am in agreement. You are right to state that "the times require patience, understanding, tolerance." However, for the Congressional ideologues on the right that you have described so aptly above and have campaigned on a "no compromise" platform, it is impossible to work with them on anything. Their brains have been wired from the time they were a baby until their childhood years. From the University of Maine:

    Children and Brain Development: What We Know About How Children Learn

    "In the first decade of life, a child’s brain forms trillions of connections or synapses. Axons connect to dendrites, and chemicals called neurotransmitters help send messages (called “impulses”) across the resulting synapses. Each individual neuron may be connected to as many as 15,000 other neurons, forming a network of neural pathways that is immensely complex. This elaborate network is sometimes referred to as the brain’s “wiring” or “circuitry.” As the neurons mature, more and more synapses are made. At birth, the number of synapses per neuron is 2,500, but by age two or three, it’s about 15,000 synapses per neuron. This is like going from 100 to 600 friends on Facebook, and each of those friends in turn, is connected to 600 more people! The neural network expands exponentially. If they are not used repeatedly, or often enough, they are eliminated. In this way, experience plays a crucial role in “wiring” a young child’s brain. Brain development does not stop after early childhood, but it is the foundation upon which the brain continues developing. Early childhood is the time to build either a strong and supportive, or fragile and unreliable foundation. These early years are very important in the development that continues in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood."

    I have referenced this study in other posts, but I include it here is as an explanation as to why we cannot argue with an ideologue. Most have had their brains "wired up" that way through continual indoctrination from a baby into adulthood. Some of the extreme examples that I could cite are Michele Bachmann and her crazy thinking...but also Ted Cruz and his nut case father. Fear and punishment are two of the defining characteristics that drive their thinking...both products of James Dobson's Child Obedience Training.

    The best thing we can do with these ideologues is vote them out of office. We will never change their minds without wholesale rewiring of their brains.