The expression, “meeting in the middle”, has been the epitome of reasonable, rational, and agreeable compromise. It is the averaging of two positions to arrive at something that does not look like either of the positions. A teeter totter is an example of where this “meeting in the middle” does not provide the best outcome. The first consideration in operating a teeter totter is that both sides need to be balanced for it to work well. If the two people are of different weights, one needs to move closer to the pivot point to achieve balance. The next consideration is how close to the ends to sit. If they move close to the center, they can still be in balance, but it won’t be much of a ride. Each will move very little with each rotation of the teeter totter. While they are still theoretically playing the game, and each is still exerting themself, very little is getting accomplished. They still need to propel the weight of the apparatus–they just aren’t getting much benefit out of that exertion. To have any real fun in this game, the participants need to move as far apart as possible. With this, all of the excitement comes out. They are no longer sitting with their feet planted on the ground, but now get to experience the thrilling feelings of rapid acceleration, speed, simulated flying, weightless, and even going airborne.
Much of the improvement that should be made in this country follows the lesson of the teeter totter. Because we are compromising on the ideological appearance of a situation, we are not reaching an acceptable outcome. Regardless of how hard we try, we don’t get much accomplished. We need to be changing how we play the game. We need less compromise, and a more intelligent arrangement of the process, which sometimes means having ideologically opposite processes cooperating to maximize reaching our goals. Keep the teeter totter example in mind as we present the change for solving each of the challenges that we are currently facing.