The art of compromise has seemingly been lost in politics. It is much more the political fashion to blame others for your country’s troubles. Which is really, really worrying. America is a prime example of that, with the rhetoric of the President, and the party his insidious nature has ensnared, a constant stream of fear-mongering and appealing to the darkest sects of the American electorate.
Even on these shores, the poison that flowed into the British political scene after Brexit has turned one party into a squabbling rabble seemingly intent on its own destruction, while the other tries to levy its way into power and is arguing among itself which direction to go in.
In terms of Brexit, the government approached in completely the wrong way. They were too quick in triggering Article 50, doing so without seeming to bother putting together a coherent plan for what they would attempt to achieve in the negotiations. They also failed to take into account what the EU’s position would be through this whole process. And that was always going to be to make the whole thing as difficult as possible for the UK, no one on the British side of the negotiating table seemed to cotton on to that fact. Instead, they simply complained about what they claimed was deliberate obstructionism. The Brexiteers in government refused to accept that the question of what to do with regards to Northern Ireland was always going to require a compromise of some sort, to reimpose a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic was simply out of the question. And yes, the EU was always going to play tough but we told them our policy was to ‘have our cake and eat it,’ What message do you think that sends to the 27 countries we’re trying to negotiate with?
What has happened instead is that Theresa May has had repeatedly walk back from her ‘red lines’ just to strike a deal that she can only hope to sell to Parliament (where she no longer has a majority, remember), damaging her reputation and her party’s unity and hopes in the next general election.
America is looking more and more divided as the days, weeks and months of the Trump presidency crawl by and he proves more and more that he is a foul man and supremely unqualified for the position he has lied and shouted his way into, also without any real ideas about what to do and blaming everyone else for whatever might go wrong. And now that the House of Representatives has flipped to the Democrats, Mitch McConnell has called for bipartisanship between the Houses and the parties. But, coming from a guy who refused to consider President Obama’s nomination for Supreme Court for a year simply in case the 2016 election gave us a Republican president (didn’t matter who it was), who proclaimed when the Republicans won the Senate in 2010 that their main goal was to prevent Obama from serving a second term, I’m sorry but that just does not hold even a grain of sincerity. That is simply going through the motions because he knows that passing any piece of legislation that may advance the Trump agenda (whatever that may be, beyond advancing his ego and arrogant self-view) just became that much harder.
Looking at these examples proves to me that antagonistic political showboating may win you short-term popularity among your supporters but when you are responsible for the country, you have to act in the interests of the whole country and you will have to compromise. Trying to demand that you get everything you want without giving up anything will only end in your embarrassment.