Refusing to compromise is the way to deal with a fight at a concert — and our nation's troubles

Ever since I read the recent commentary by Ron Shapiro ("Learn to negotiate," Aug 17), I've been torn on how to respond. I wondered how can I voice my 180-degree disagreement with the entire article written by someone I know and respect.

The answer came to me Saturday night at the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert at Aberdeen Proving Ground, of all places and times. Mr. Shapiro suggested compromise regarding the financial situation in the U.S. He suggested that both sides should give and get a little of what they want. Even quoting Epictetus, regarding one tongue and two ears. All of these things sound reasonable and fair, but compromising and giving-in over the past 50 years has moved us via "incrementalization" to the precipice on which we are precariously balanced, for the moment.

The concert gave me three examples of no-compromise and the positive results associated with that position. First, we were on the field at APG, where military and scientific personnel are charged with the responsibility of improving the defense capabilities of our country. There is no compromise sought nor given here (exactly the way we want and deserve it). Second, during the concert, a fight broke out in the "mosh-pit" in front of the stage. Johnny Van Zant asked the idiots to stop, when they did not, he said the band would not tolerate that behavior and would stop playing. The idiots continued, and Skynyrd walked off the stage until reasonable bystanders and security removed the problem. There was no attempt to compromise, no offer of "just two more punches," etc. A compromise of that type made Altamont a name that will live in infamy. Finally, there was absolutely no compromise in Skynyrd's desire to do what they and we love — pure unadulterated rock and roll music. Any attempt to compromise that would have been met with disdain and spoiled a once-great passion.

We are at the point where all the good intentions of the Great Society and the good intentions of all of the subsequent compromises since have painted us into a corner from which the only escape is to hold firm to "no compromise" and push back 50 years of deterioration of our society. We are one generation away from having more than 50 percent of the population of the greatest economic and democratic engine in the world being on some type of government hand-out.

Possessing the work ethic of a second generation Italian/Serbian American, I can promise that I will take that ethic, those values and all the energy I have left to insist on no compromise and to do whatever is possible to reverse the long downward trend we have experienced.

Our greatest presidents, generals, physicians, etc., were not leaders that compromised. Washington did not "work a deal" with the British, Lincoln did not free some slaves or save part of the Union, and Ike and MacArthur did not accept anything but unconditional surrender. We should not either. The future of our country is at stake.

Ron, I know you are one of Baltimore's best and brightest and I can attest that you are one of the nicest, but Skynyrd is right: No Compromise.

Mike Matejevich

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