I once had a friend tell me that the road to social understanding was compromise. In politics one must find the middle ground and give something to get something. I can see that, but I also know that there are certain things that you should never compromise on. There are values out there that are universal, that we as individuals should hold higher then compromise. Truth, honor, and human dignity are part of that equation.
We as a people like to have our reality handed to us in thirty second sound bites. We like to resolve our conflicts in thirty minutes like a sit com. We do not like to burdened with those hard choices. We do not like to think about those hard questions. In 2008 the military lifted the ban of showing soldiers coming home in coffins draped in flags. Why was that a big deal? Well some say the public did not want to be burdened by body bags while they ate their dinner. The probable reality to all of this, is people really did not want to think about what that dead soldier meant to them. I mean really what impact did this young person, have on their life?
The first consideration to this, is that it would sway public opinion about the wars we are fighting. You know for the shallow spoon fed masses it sure would. To me it belittles what that military service member died for. We are in Iraq for a reason. You may not agree with it, but I can assure my reasons for being there are different then what you think they where all about. Same to those still in Afghanistan. Those in uniform are there for different reasons, and those reasons are pretty damn valid if they are willing to die for them.
Most have it in them to defend those principles that most others pay lip service to and rarely live by. To live honorably does not mean you you compromise your personal integrity because of how people will react to the results of your choices. You do what you say you are going to do. You give your word when you mean it, and you do not compromise that word. In a culture of compromise you don't get that. You look at the spin, and the effect of public opinion on things. Somethings are not popular, but they are right.
What I mean by this is a summed up in a story I recently watched. If you have not seen the Tillman story, watch it. You see soldiers torn between duty, and a promise they made to serve their country. You see that honor tainted by men that tainted their own honor, in order to serve themselves or selfish intentions of grandeur. Pat Tillman served as a Ranger. He fought in a war he didn't believe in, because he gave his word and said he would. He died in a war he did believe in and in an attempt to turn him into a public recruiting tool, he was dishonored. You saw the lines of those that knew what honor was, and those more motivated by personal ambition.
They compromised their personal honor and integrity to do what they felt was good for the cause or country. How ever by lying they just weakened the cause and showed the decay of politics. No less then twelve stars lied directly to congress, and congress took it, because it was easier to sweep it under the rug. If you put make up on a black eye, you are not fooling anybody but yourself.
I think what I would like to see is someone, anyone in politics fuck up and admit it. Not the typical I am sorry speech they give. Those are more them sorry they got caught. I am sure that you could ask them with some truth serum, and they would tell you would they would still do what ever thing they did, if they knew they could get away with it. This is the issue. Smart people want the truth, and in the truth there can be no compromise. It has to be unflinching.
Compromise that works is on some of the smaller day to day things. Its something that works well in business, and to narrow it down further, it is good when things are for sale. Services, goods, or materials can be brought up in compromise. However I will state clearly that my honor and integrity are not, and have never been for sale. Anyone that would sell those ideals can not and should not be leaders of us. They should not be our voice in government.
I do not care if you are Democrat, Republican, or some other party you choose to affiliate with, there are some principles that do not call for compromise. Some things are black and white, and actions speak louder then words. I would offer the same advice to politicians that I offer to my junior soldiers. If you do not want to be caught doing something, then perhaps you shouldn't do it. If you can't say something without thought you probably need to think if its worth saying in the first place. If you would not want something done to you, then its probably something you don't want to do to somebody else. There are times where you will have to take a stand though, and if you do make sure both your feet are planted and you are ready to accept the outcome win or lose. If you are not sure you are willing to face the consequences of the lose, it might not be worth fighting over.
With that off my chest, I say rest in peace Pat Tillman. Regardless of how you died you are still my fucking hero. You are my hero not because of how you died, but because of how you lived. Those of you that tried to use his death to support your own cause, shame on you assholes. You obviously have no idea what put him in harms way in the first place. I am not going to pretend to have known the guy, but I can measure him by his deeds and those the legacy of love he left behind. For that I say thank you Dannie Tillman for being brave enough to share your sons, your life, and your heart with the world. Pat Sr thank you as well for doing a fine job in raising some fine men by being a great example to them.