Hostel environment


Land of the free, home of the brave.

It’s a pretty great country we live in. A nation founded of the ideals of liberty, laws and compromise. We see all of these daily, but compromise isn’t always acknowledged.

Our very own U.S. Congress is the result of a compromise between the Virginia and New Jersey Plans, calling for different forms of a legislature. One plan called for a single, population-based chamber. The other, a group of representatives equally representing each state. But in this new world of ours, compromise takes a back seat to achieving an agenda or destroying those with whom we disagree.

This is true at every level of debate in the United States. For 225 years, the filibuster was a highly respected tool in the Senate to assure every voice was heard, and if one side disagreed, it had a way to protest. Now we have senators trying to destroy the filibuster, because they are so bent on reaching their agenda. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., compared those who defended the filibuster to Nazis. Yes, Nazis for bringing democracy to the Senate.

We can see this determination on our campus as well. When was the last time you were arguing with your “dirty liberal” friend, and he or she just would not listen to reason? Or how about the last time your right-wing nut buddy called you unpatriotic or a traitor for not agreeing with his beliefs?

I know, I know. This is where I call Ned Lamont a radical for defeating Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., a man who has been given credit for loving compromise. Or where I say Lieberman is President Bush disguised as a Democrat. But since I don’t live in Connecticut, it is none of my concern.

Ask Mike Malloy or Sean Hannity what they think of compromising with the other side, and they’ll rip you a new one. Hannity says Democrats are a danger to America, and Malloy says anyone willing to compromise with a Republican is a whore.

What happened to listening to and respecting the other side? If National Public Radio does it, it is considered to be just another entity of the liberal media and an outlet for the left. Then there is “fair and balanced Fox News,” which is anything but. Don’t even get me started.

I know it is hard to listen to someone who makes your blood boil, but we all have the right to believe and say what we think is right. Without some civility in our discussions, we’re not better than a bunch of 8-year-olds arguing over who started the fight.

“You started it poop, head.”

“No you did, smelly face.”

Is this what we want our conversations to be? A bunch of Tom DeLays and Nancy Pelosis yelling at one another? I don’t want America to be like that, and last I checked, this is America. Or at least it was at the time I was writing this column.

Our great nation wouldn’t be here today if not for some great minds and some great compromises. We need to have some room for change and some consideration for the other side. If we don’t do that, then we’re no better than Ann Coulter.

Owen Kennedy is a junior in print journalism. Please send comments to