Compromise Is the Art of Leadership

The last two weeks have been full of promises by the governors from Missouri and Kansas and our President of what they hope to accomplish in 2013. Each leader has his own message but for the most part the topics covered are the same.

Every politician wants to increase jobs, lower taxes for the middle class, provide help for the truly needy, get rid of waste and abuse in government, provide a safe environment where we live, provide quality schools, and to give every citizen a chance to “live the American dream. “

You would think that if we all want the same results, we could easily reach an agreement on how to reach these goals. However, our politicians and citizens have very diverse views.

Some say that the best way to assure safety is to allow adults to purchase guns of all types and models and display them openly; others want to prohibit all or certain types of guns being sold.

Some say the best way to help the truly needy is to reduce eligibility to government programs so that only the very poor can take advantage of government aid; others say reductions in eligibility levels will simply cause more low-income people to go without food, housing, health care, etc.

Some say the best way to increase jobs is to give the wealthy and big business further tax incentives so they will use this extra money to create more jobs for the rest of us; others say these tax breaks simply make the rich richer and there does not seem to be a direct connect in lower taxes for the rich and more jobs.

The thing that we can agree upon is that we can no longer afford to simply have these discussions within our own like-minded groups…we need to listen to the views of others that do not agree with us and then both sides need to reach for a compromise that does not feel comfortable to either side.

We can no longer afford for either side to hold out to get 100 percent of what they want. Not only should we expect this of our elected leaders we also need to display this attitude as citizens…compromise is the art of leadership.


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