Saturday, August 13, 2011

The "C" Word

More and more in society we find ourselves faced with words that almost dare not be spoken in polite society, and sometimes not even outside of it. The 'N' word certainly fits in this category, unless of course you are a young African-American male greeting or chiding another young African-American male. The 'F' word also seems to draw considerable scorn, in spite of having the ability to describe an act of love (though I admit that it does so inappropriately and rather coarsely at best). There are other letters and other words associated with them that could be included as terms of obscenity (two come quickly to mind, one beginning with an R and another a D), but I think you understand the point of my introduction. I would now like to add yet another to this list of loathsome and disgusting words, this one beginning with the letter 'C'.

Now while considering this word to be repugnant, I find that it's impossible to have a discussion of it without its use. So if you will pardon the mention of this rather opprobrious term for the duration of this posting, I would appreciate your indulgence as I take up discussion of the word 'Compromise'.

I know that this is probably not the one you expected to see; but its recent misuse and abuse has made it a particularly loathsome term that has seen far too much degradation to be spoken any longer in polite company. Ostensibly a word used to describe “a settlement of differences by mutual concessions”, it has been bastardized as a result of constant misuse by politicians and pundits in the media alike.  Having taken on an almost sacrosanct definition, this term is no longer deemed a method, but a goal instead. 

No longer can the term be used to describe “something intermediate between different things”, instead it has become a term describing little more than abject surrender. In order for one side or the other to now compromise in political debate, they must give up closely held beliefs, principles, and sometimes even common sense in the name of agreement in a tainted process that can later be lauded by elected officials as if it had meaning. In truth, it no longer matters what such agreement turns out to be, as long as it's reach 'in the bi-partisan spirit of compromise'.

How else should we view the Faustian bargain acclaimed by many on both sides of the aisle as the best compromise that could be reached in regards to raising the debt ceiling. Are we expected to applaud compromise when government celebrates its supposed spending cuts by going on a binge that raises the national debt by over $200 billion in a single day? Shall we cheer the House for whittling and watering down bills passed to the point of uselessness in the spirit of bi-partisanship? Will we commend the Senate for a form compromise that involved refusing to vote on anything? Perhaps we could provide a standing ovation to a chief executive whose idea of compromise is to insult everyone around him and then blame all but himself for not playing nice.

And what's the result of such shoddy compromise, a plan which neither garners the revenue increases that one side insisted upon, nor performs the real spending cuts that the other demanded for agreement. The truth of the matter is that as far as the Debt Ceiling is concerned, this contemptible compromise isn't worth the red ink that it's written in. One might even go so far as to say that the spirit of compromise which this attempts to represent is itself Compromised.  (“to expose or make vulnerable to danger, suspicion, scandal...”) 

The concept of compromise in politics has become nothing more than another unpalatable piece of the English language, unsuitable for use in any company, let alone a polite one. In its name the citizens of this country are far too often asked to accept idiotic, pointless, and sometimes downright evil choices in the spirit of something without meaning. The 'Compromises' reached by the Jackasses and Elephants in Washington are now little more than two thieves agreeing on what they consider an equitable split of the loot. Compromise has become so perverted and so offensive in nature that it would be far more accurate to use instead an equally reprehensible word beginning with 'C'; and one that likewise has no place in political discussion in this country, Capitulation.

(All definitions were provided by

1 comment:

Judy said...

"Capitulation" a fun word to say, I like that word!