Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Journey, still day one. Sitting in a traffic jam, with time to think about stuff

Hopefully, we've all had time to consider the question in depth.  Assuming that to be true, I'm going to move on.

We've got a fork coming up, and we have a choice of two roads.  One leads us towards Privilege, and the other goes towards Right.  Although I know which road I'd take, let's spend a minute discussing the implications of the decision.

Let's say we head towards Privilege, just for the sake of the discussion.

Unfortunately, in the United States we live in a society that is growing more and more polarized.  There are walls being erected everywhere.  The traditional Two Party system of politics, which most always found answers by compromising Somewhere in the Middle, no longer wishes to do so.  Of course, there are reasons for that.

One reason is that overall failures have led people to take more extreme positions.  If things were going well, they wouldn't notice, but things aren't going well.  We all know that.  Years ago, Peter Drucker, famous for his analysis of how business operates, observed this:

Leaders shouldn't attach moral significance to their ideas.  Do that, and you can't compromise.

Pretty much sums up the whole situation, doesn't it?  Every decision, or more likely, every position is couched in terms of "my values" or "I'm claiming the moral High Ground."  I agree there are moral aspects to many decisions we ask our leaders to make.  If you're for or against the Death Penalty or Abortion it's likely because you see them as a moral issue.  Okay, that's fine.  It makes perfect sense.  However, once you take that position publicly, there's no room to move.  If you compromise, you're seen as "immoral" based upon your previous statements.

I don't for a moment believe the founders of the United States were immoral men.  They weren't.  In fact, a good number of them were here because they, or their parents, chose to risk coming to the "new world" to find freedom to believe as they wished.  As a group, those men (sorry, ladies, but such was the time) believed strongly in the morals of things.  However, they also somehow found ways to compromise on many of them.

There was only one thing they wouldn't compromise on: Liberty.  Patrick Henry pretty well summed it up, and everyone else likely wished they'd said that.  He didn't say "my way or the highway" he said Liberty.  He knew what that meant.

So, the first issue is everything has become a moral judgement.  I'm going to stop here, simply because obviously traffic isn't moving anyway.  Tomorrow, I'll talk about the second issue, and we'll continue to explore what taking the road to Privilege means.

Thanks for reading.

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