We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires. - Pope Benedict XVI
I believe that the biggest problem that humanity faces is an ego sensitivity to finding out whether one is right or wrong and identifying what one's strengths and weaknesses are. - Ray Dalio
The #1206 “fiction” series continues …
It was a quiet evening in the church as the parish priest waited in the confessional in silence. He sighed, looked at his watch and prepared to leave for the evening when he heard someone enter the confessional.
He drew open the small door between them and waited.
“Bless them, Father, but I honestly have no idea how many years it’s been since their last confession”, said a voice quietly.
“Bless them, my son?”, the priest asked quizzically.
“Well, of course”, replied the confessor, “We have worked for a very long time to convince the people that we are the only solution for their every need and they just don’t get it. Clearly they have an issue that they need to deal with and I am here to discover how to help them.”
“I see”, replied the priest as he frowned in the darkened confessional, “And what makes you think it is they who have the issue when it potentially may be you?”
“I have no idea what you are referring to”, said the confessor huffily, “We’ve done nothing wrong.”
“We?”, asked the priest, “Why don’t we just focus on you, shall we?”
“I don’t see why that is necessary”, replied the confessor, feeling his agitation begin to rise.
“Well”, began the priest, “While I don’t ordinarily do this, I see we are an impasse and so I have no choice but to identify you. While I won’t name you specifically, my son, I know your voice to be that of a well-known politician in the Province. Why don’t we begin our conversation again with that understanding, shall we?”
“Hmmmmm”, the confessor frowned, “Very well. Here is my struggle, Father. We lost the last election badly and now in the current by-election, people are all over us claiming that we have not changed at all and that we don’t deserve to win this by-election as a result. Their argument for this has absolutely no merit at all and I am struggling to understand what they need to do to change their outlook on things.”
“Is this in regards to the candidate who has some issues in his background that portray his campaign and your support of his campaign as slightly dishonest?”, the priest asked quietly.
“Sort of”, replied the confessor, “But it’s more than just honesty or dishonesty. Yes, we are being sort of dishonest about his background and I will admit that we are ignoring calls for transparency around this, but dishonesty for the greater good is a noble principle, is it not? I mean , when it comes to winning, whether it be in politics or business, isn’t it better to do whatever it takes to win? A small amount of dishonesty doesn’t hurt anybody, especially when it gets the best person elected for the job.”
“Perhaps”, answered the priest, “but how do you define the difference between a small amount of dishonesty and a lot? Who defines what is an acceptable amount of dishonesty? And if we accept a little dishonesty now, can we claim to be disappointed later if other examples of dishonesty are found within the individual or the Party he represents?”
As the priest spoke, the confessor listened carefully to his voice and suddenly a light dawned on him.
“I know you”, said the confessor, ignoring the priest’s observation, “You used to be a well-known politician.”
“Very true, my son”, replied the priest quietly, “But after what I thought was going to be a lifetime of public service, I decided to leave that Life and begin a lifetime of atonement for what I did in my political career and to really serve the people.”
“So you know what I am going through, Father”, said the confessor earnestly, “You should be able to tell me what’s wrong with the voters.”
He shivered in excitement as he realized he was getting closer to the answer he sought.
“Slow down”, replied the priest, “I have been watching the demise of your political party for some time. I remember some years ago when a member of your party wrote about the struggles within your party and he suggested that there was either a mole in your party who was deliberately tearing the party apart or that your party was the victim of excessive ego or incompetence. Let me think …… ah yes … if I remember correctly, the piece was called The Trojan Horse of the 21st Century.”
“That’s preposterous”, expostulated the confessor, “There is no mole in our party trying to deliberately undermine us.”
“Well”, replied the priest, “He did suggest that it was either a mole, excessive ego or excessive incompetence.”
“Like I said”, emphasized the confessor, “There are no moles in our Party. I am sure of it.”
“Well that leaves only two options, doesn’t it?”, the priest asked somewhat sarcastically, “Listen my son, when you come here to seek the forgiveness of our Lord, you must do it with a humble and contrite heart. Otherwise, I can’t help you.”
“So you are saying there is nothing you can do for me?”, asked the confessor.
“Not at this time, my son”, replied the priest.
“Hmmmmmmph”, grunted the confessor and he stood up to leave, “I expected much more of you than this, Father.”
“I’m sorry I disappointed you, my son”, replied the priest, “Tell me. I am preparing to retire for the evening. Is anyone else waiting for confession.”
The confessor opened the door and looked at the long line of people waiting, most of whom being his colleagues.
“There’s a lot of them”, he said as he stepped outside, “Goodnight, Father.”
“God bless you”, replied the priest, “Remember what I said.”
As the confessor walked away from the confessional, the next confessor in line gestured with his hands and asked, “Well? How did it go?”
“Very well”, smiled the confessor, “He said that I was so good that there was nothing he could do for me.”
The confessor in line smiled and gave him a two-thumbs-up as he entered the confessional.
And with that, the confessor walked to the back of the Church, blessed himself and walked out.
To be continued.
© 2015 – Harry Tucker – All Rights Reserved
When I watch a group that has been as badly burned as the PC Party of Alberta was in the last election and when I watch that same group show no change in transparency, accountability, leadership, awareness, strategy or execution as they are exhibiting in the current by-election in Calgary-Foothills, I can’t help but wonder if this continued behavior is because someone:
- wants the Party to die (a mole)
- doesn’t believe the Party did anything wrong, either in the past or in the present (excessive incompetence, indifference or ego)
- doesn’t know how to fix the execution and the results of the Party but doesn’t have the humility to ask others for help either (excessive ego).
Unfortunately, unless a cranial defibrillator is applied to members within the Party, any of these will produce the same result, none of which are in alignment with what the PC Party of Alberta desires.
A Final Albeit Important Thought:
Is it fair to throw Calgary-Foothills candidate Blair Houston under the bus for their failings or is he ruining their chances with his failings (or is it a combination of both)? Either way, by sticking it out when he should have stopped running, he and the Party are inviting people to find more dirt on him in a rabid attempt to skewer him.
It’s one thing for people to strongly encourage him to stop running.
It’s another thing to ruin him if he doesn’t comply.
In such situations, he runs the risk of being ruined personally and professionally as well as politically if he persists in running anyway.
The question is:
Is he persisting willingly, begrudgingly or blindly?
The answer would be very revealing of both the party and the candidate.
Unfortunately, some answers may hasten the demise of the Party as well as the candidate if they are not careful.
This reminds me of a post I did some time ago, National Security: Saying Everything By Saying Nothing, where I referenced The 9 Ways of Being an Accessory to Another’s Sin as described in the Roman Catholic Daily Missal:
I. By counsel
II. By command
III. By consent
IV. By provocation
V. By praise or flattery
VI. By concealment
VII. By partaking
VIII. By silence
IX. By defense of the ill done
I’d say many people have checked most, if not all, of this list off in this by-election.
What do you think?
This musing is related to earlier blog posts, including but not limited to:
- Politics and the Mutability of Human Values
- PC Party and Blair Houston–Isn’t Honesty Still the Best Policy?
- PC Party of Alberta–Who Will Bell the Cat?
- PC Party of Alberta–Proving Einstein and Churchill Right?
This series, a departure from my usual musings, is inspired as a result of conversations with former senior advisors to multiple Presidents of the United States, senior officers in the US Military and other interesting folks as well as my own professional background as a Wall St. / Fortune 25 strategy and large-scale technology architect.
While this musing is just “fiction” and a departure from my musings on technology, strategy, politics and society, as a strategy guy, I do everything for a reason and with a measurable outcome in mind. :-)
This “fictional” musing is a continuation of the #1206 series noted here.