Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The US Elections–Choosing Your Poison

Do you remember when you could tell by the way a person spoke and lived whether that person was a Republican or Democrat - that being one or the other meant that you stood for certain positive ideals (and yes, both have some positive things that they stand for)?

As a result of this clear demarcation, one knew what one was in for in terms of domestic and international policy when one voted in a representative of either party in the national election.

I remember those days well.

Now ….

Do you remember when a political candidate ran solely on the merits of their personal and party values and past performance, focusing on their proactive strategic and tactical intentions to make the country and the world a better place instead of merely focusing on trying to convince us why the other guy is “a loser who will destroy the country”?

That’s what I thought.

I don’t remember those days either.

Our modern day election process is no longer one of inspiring people to follow a vision, a vision representing personal and party values, backed up by past performance of the candidate and communicated via a strategic and tactical roadmap with measurable outcomes that resonates with the electorate.

It has transformed from being a process of making a proactive choice for the best person for the job to one of proactive avoidance, avoiding the person who, as we are led to believe, will cause us the most pain.

This is like saying you have two choices:

- death by cyanide (because arsenic poisoning can cause severe diarrhea)

- death by arsenic (because cyanide poisoning can cause severe headaches)

In this case, you have been told that death is unavoidable and so you examine the pain caused by each and choose the option that allows you to avoid that which you fear the most.

Such a process doesn’t move us purposefully towards success.

It’s a strategy for avoiding pain (and failure), which is the complete opposite of striving for success.

And in politics, as in business and even Life itself, you ultimately achieve what you focus on.

Unfortunately, it may or may not be the result you had hoped to achieve.

It’s no wonder we can’t move towards more positive results in the country and in the world-at-large.

It’s because we’re too busy trying to avoid failure and the person whom we have been told will bring us failure instead of embracing the candidate who has demonstrated that he or she has the best chance to lead us towards success.

Oh well … maybe we will do better in 2016.


In service and servanthood,



  1. Any ideas concerning what we can do for this election? If enough people voted for a third party (such as the Libertarian candidate), would that send a message?

  2. Thank you Harry, I am guilty of focusing on the wrong things lately, on avoiding the worst choice rather that on the best chance to move forward. Even my latest writings have evidence that change in me. You just put it into focus for me.

    I shall strive to follow my own advice and get back to my philosophy of concentrating on the positive things of life.

    Thanks Doug P for pointing this blog out.

  3. Thanks for your comments, guys.

    I don't believe an overnight fix exists to correct the issue here. As we know, negativity has a more powerful pull for many people (for known reasons) and so to change the system is in essence to expect a change in human behavior that is deeply rooted in our psyche.

    In the end, I believe what will happen is that a series of events will take place that will wake us up ... the notion of "correct it or be corrected".

    I believe that our learning experience will occur as a result of the latter.

    This is unfortunate but is a reality of the human experience. Things will get better but only after a potentially difficult transition to the better place.

    Thanks again for your kind comments.

    Create a great day.


  4. And in terms of voting Libertarian, ask yourself this:

    1. What pain points are we experiencing in the nation now?

    2. Does the Libertarian model address those pain points?

    3. Will such a model create other pain points in the process of solving the existing ones (in essence moving the pain point instead of eliminating it)?

    4. For each of the three questions, answer the question "how do you know?" - back up your answers with data and facts.

    Once you can answer these questions, you will have a better sense of whether that party has the answers that you seek.

  5. Harry, honestly, it's hard to get straight answers about things because everyone seems to be peddling propaganda that best supports their own interests and beliefs. So, it's hard to know if I am on the right track in my own beliefs. That being said, here's my best shot:

    1. There are many pain points right now, but the one that stands out to me is lack of economic sustainability. I believe that, given this, the last thing we need is bigger and more expensive government. However, we are led to believe otherwise by the powers that be. It has become the standard to believe that we should have access to other people's generated wealth even when this means borrowing and borrowing from other countries as well as printing more and more money.
    2. Libertarians are consistently for shrinking government in virtually every conceivable way, possibly even to a fault. They believe that every individual owns themselves and the wealth they generate, and that government interfering with that sovereignty should not be taken lightly.
    3. Consider someone with diabetes. When their blood sugar is too high they take insulin. If they take enough, their blood sugar goes down to proper levels. If they continue to take it when they don't need it, they will eventually get sicker. I consider Libertarians to be like insulin for big government. They may be overzealous in some ways, but right now it seems like that's what we need.
    4. I don't know if a shot of Libertarianism will work, because it's never been tried. But, I know that the current trajectory brought to us by the other two parties will eventually put us into a diabetic coma.

    That's the best I can do. I don't think someone like Gary Johnson is going to win the presidency, but his ideas (along with Ron Paul's) are ones that should be out there affecting public discourse. My vote may be one way of helping that along.

    Please feel free to argue with this. I'd prefer it. I highly respect your opinion. Unfortunately, long wave theory makes sense to me, and I believe we are going to hit a period of transformation. So, perhaps my ideas above will be rendered moot points.

  6. 1. Agreed - it is all wrong. But the American people and people in general have stopped asking the people in power "how do you know this is the right way". Politicians say something, we accept it without question (for a variety of reasons) and since we condone a behavior of not being able to justify "stuff", people in power get more and more audacious about abusing it.

    2. And you know this because (I'm not questioning you, just testing your assertion) ....

    3. See response 2. :-)

    4. If you don't know, then you must be careful. The reason we have so much difficulty is because we keep doing things without thinking through the long term ramifications.

    So I can't argue with you - I haven't seen your data yet. :-)

  7. Harry,
    The American people believe they have already received the answer to the question, "How do you know this is the right way?" That's why they don't ask it. Politicians take the numbers and weave whatever narrative answers that question in their favor. A good example is when Bill Clinton tried to claim that more jobs were created under Democratic presidencies. That's a true fact, but then we he suggests that it has to do with Democrat policies being economically superior, he is being intellectually dishonest. I can say that there are economic upswings on every year ending in a prime number, and it might be true (though I doubt it). However, the two phenomenon are not necessarily linked. Candidates don't just play with facts, they play with reason. And, we stop exploring once we are comfortable that we "get it".

    2. I'm not campaigning for Gary Johnson, so please don't think that's the case. Here are high-level details of his views on the issues. I don't necessarily agree with all of them but I think they should be considered in part or in whole as things to explore:
    Economy: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues/economy-and-taxes
    Spending and Deficit:

    4. I don't have data because, in my life time, politicians rarely shrink government. So, I have very little past precedence. The problem is that we never think about exploring ideas. We think about electing people. We vote for personalities and blind ideologies.

    When we, as a society, stopped searching for the truth and started blindly becoming cheerleaders for parties and politicians, we gave up reasoning and handed over our minds to others. The change needs to happen with us. And, part of that change, could be to explore some new ideas (some of which are actually old ones that we've been convinced don't work, and given dishonest narratives showing why).

    You are very insightful, Harry, and even though people are being pummeled with politics these days, I still would like to read more about your views on what's going on.

  8. Hey Nathan - I'm not avoiding your post - my travel schedule is slowing down my responses! :-)