Everyone intuitively already knows that our country is divided into three camps that are NOT defined by political party, no matter how much the dog fighting between liberals and conservatives is designed to divert us from this far bigger problem. Those three camps are:
- Those who advocate on behalf of the common good: Conservatives tend to teuse moral certainty and fear to foist their version onto others and Liberal tend to use idealism to get people to ignore more complicated issues that they would rather not have to deal with.
- Those who advocate for individual rights: Conservatives tend to speak out of both sides of their mouths on this one and Liberals don’t seem to focus on individual rights much unless the issue is connected with civil rights.
- Those who advocate for special interests: These include lobbyists for corporate interests or the powerful wealthy, groups with other specific economic agendas (such as unions or retired people, for instance), advocates for groups that can’t speak for themselves (such as children, gun rights and gun control groups), and advocates on all sides of a host of social and environmental causes. Special interests of all kinds have been out of control in their domination of government on both sides of the political aisle.
Co-creating solutions that address the tension among TRULY honoring individual liberty, HONORABLY responding to the specialized concerns of specific segments of society in a balanced way, and our need to join together to co-discover what REALLY serves the common good (rather than some ideologue’s unilateral decision about what serves highest good) is where the REAL juice is today.
Everyone knows this intuitively but as of this post (January 2008) far too few people are talking about this in any serious, substantive and solution-oriented way. My book, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World, is all about how to attend simultaneously to all three of these important concerns.
Rational dialogue that seeks to co-discover the common ground among all three of these aspects of the bigger picture is the basis of democracy in general and our country in specific. Spin doctoring, polarization and bad-mouthing those who are advocating for a different one of these three core dimensions than us is what threatens democracy. Even though this nonsense is rampant, it is high time that more and more of us rose up to proclaim what most people from across the political spectrum already sense: imbalanced attention to these three core dimensions (the common good, individual rights and advocacy on behalf of special concerns) is profoundly un-American!
I believe the American people are waiting for this message. I believe the American people want this balance restored. Do you agree? Are you ready? What are your thoughts about this?