In the Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War a few years ago, it was noted that the Civil War came about because of our failure to compromise. Our whole system of government is built on compromise, and it failed.

Have we reached that again today? I'm not sure. Perhaps your readers can say yay or nay.

With three 24/7 cable news networks (none of which just REPORT the news!), the internet, talk radio and social media all talking over one another and not LISTENING to each other, perhaps compromise is dead. If it truly is, this American experience is headed into the abyss.

In true compromise, we don't have to agree. We simply must realize that none of us can get 100% of what we want. We must give and take to get the best result we can.

Government in a free society is not like religion. We don't have to agree in religion, because that is based on our individual conscience and our individual lives. Government does not have that luxury. Government has to find a way to govern 330 million people in a nation that is increasingly diverse.

Until we all realize that we cannot all "have it 100% our way," we will struggle or even find it impossible to live under one umbrella. Let's pray we find our way.

ROGER BAZEN

Florence