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Compromise vs Consensus

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

Ask not what your country can do for you, get involved and do something.

As the world continues to evolve socially, economically, politically, and personally, so does the age-old battle of practicing compromise or gaining consensus. These are two great schools of thought requiring group, personal or social acceptance taking place with various sets of rules designed to produce harmonious outcomes following a myriad of interactions resulting in achieving redetermined goals.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, get involved and do something.”

There’s an old saying, “we agree to disagree”.

Social-anthropologist, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois saw race as a major issue during the 20th Century - a topic of deep concern affecting the very fiber of American thought and evolution. Nonetheless, in recent years of American culture, we’ve experienced the inability to reach consensus due to biased opinions and party affiliation. The practice of reaching a consensus is becoming a lost art. Participating members are placing personal opinions aside for the sake of accomplishing any one thing. These actions are causing great division across party and personal lines.

“It is better to reach consensus than compromise”.

Think about it, with consensus we agree to disagree while striving to create outcomes based on inherent values for the good of all concerned.

Compromise, on the other hand, occurs with a give and take mentality too often resulting in participating parties departing with discontent and disagreement. To realize with greater understanding the effects of compromise vs consensus, we need only look at the operations and conclusions of political parties in the 21st Century.

Again, think about it. In American history, there are many values and norms that have allowed our great nation to evolve from a great experiment to a great nation. These values and norms were founded upon clearly defined democratic principles which are now admired around the world. We have achieved our greatest moments through consensus of the American people. From the Revolutionary war to hard fought battles in distant lands, the consensus has been our common denominator for achieving great success throughout the ages.

In my opinion, we as a great and exemplary nation must keep moving forward with consensus. We must lay to rest the dividing practice of achieving a “win at all costs” or “lose with disc race”.

Dr. W. E. B. DuBous said,

“When you debate, a solution is seldom found; however, when you deliberate, you gain much more ground”.

Let us learn to deliberate to achieve consensus and put aside the battle, to achieve compromise.


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