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NO PROGRESS WITHOUT COMPROMISE

February 25, 2018

NO PROGRESS WITHOUT COMPROMISE

Professor Sheila Suess Kennedy in her blog today lamented our gender gulf and the manufacture of straw men to cover the real issues involved in its discussion, expanding her topic into taxation and civil rights, and seeking commentary. The following, slightly edited, was my response, which I thought worthy of further distribution.

Sheila said it all when she noted that women want parity, not dominance, and why not? That should work out as between the sexes, but when the issues to be confronted are between Democrats and Republicans on other issues, that is a different story. I confess to giving short shrift to the arguments of neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and the Limbaugh and Trump crowds, having been exposed to their lines over the years and finding them contrary to reason and even immoral. I frankly think it would require a herculean effort on my part to sit with such people, hear their arguments, and not walk away in the midst of one of their diatribes. I admit to bringing bias to the table, but how else is one to react when listening to such drivel?

However, I’ll try, since I understand that nothing gets done without compromise, not even our Constitution, itself a product of compromise among southern slaveholders and Yankee shipbuilders. We have enormous issues confronting us both domestic and foreign that are going unaddressed while we engage in tit for tat petty tabloid matters; i.e., we have by far the world’s greatest trade deficit, the Chinese have bullet trains while we talk about them, ongoing wage inequality is weakening demand (the sole arbiter of economic growth), guns, immigration, Russian attempts to destroy our democracy etc.

Every day we wait to solve these problems is a day we fall further behind a new and very competitive world of EU and Chinese economies (and soon even those of emerging economies) who are moving forward and are not hampered with such nonsense. American “exceptionalism,” if it ever existed, is over. Our bullying days are gone since those to be bullied, unlike before, now have options. (Trump, take note.) We have much work to do if we are to stop or even slow our descent into Third World status, so I will (if grudgingly) remain open to compromise. We need to talk to one another before such an opportunity is foreclosed by events and we pull a Roman 476, and the time to talk is now.       GERALD        E

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