American partisan politics today reminds of a humongous, tarnished, sterling silver punch bowl that needs good leaders with gallons of good silver polish who are aware and understand the reality of partisan politics: it is a dangerous duel of limited and partial truths. Political parties have glaring inadequacies because they lack a vision with a broad perspective to address the complex issues facing us today. Republicans tend to be conservative, traditional, ethnocentric, egocentric-physical, emotional and mental-and religious. The party highlights an individual’s moral failings, poor decisions and lack of motivation as the central reasons behind many social problems. A typical response to homelessness: cut free government handouts which will require people to take responsibility for their lives and get back to work. Democrats usually are progressive, egocentric-physical, emotional and mental, worldcentric and pluralistic. They blame social ills on an unfair system and raise budgets for social welfare programs in order to create opportunities for those marginalized by an unjust economic system.
As the three-ring circus of political entertainers, producers, directors and media and artificial intelligence masters unfold for the 2020 election campaigns, the big top can offer each of us the opportunity and challenge to select the leaders who will facilitate hope for this great country, put us back on the track, and restore the brightness, sparkle and shine of our democracy. A reasonable solution is to climb out of the foxhole, look around, study, research and select leaders who are ethical and moral, have core values and guiding principles and have a track record of followership-team play-and leadership successes, not entertainers.
Every day the media reminds of the self-professed entertainer whose “brand” occupies the Office of the President of the United States and who is a lonely, “cured introvert” driven by accumulating mega millions of dollars and associating with folks who have mega millions of dollars who can satisfy his insatiable desire to accumulate wealth and nourish his capacity to use other people’s money to self-serve. In addition to building personal wealth, this individual is motivated to use manipulative, egotistical, child-like behavior and position power to attract beautiful women, and to be recognized for his celebrity and status: he thrives on receiving warm “fuzzies,” while at the same time uses cold “pricklies” to trigger battles that nurture his passion for conflict, chaos, waging war and winning at all cost.
Seven key brand attributes to look for in candidates who are marketing qualities for elections are as follows:
Wilber et al in Integral Life Practice offer, “People born with beauty, privilege, wealth, and fame sometimes make poor use of all of their advantages, diminishing themselves and those around them.” As Americans, we can select good political leaders who transcend and include, appreciate the strengths found in diversity and can lead efforts to restore the global shine and sparkle to our tarnished nation. Some glaring needs: infrastructure maintenance and evolution for tomorrow’s needs; comprehensive reform of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; comprehensive immigration reform; strengthen alliances around the world to protect against aggressive dictators in Russia, China and North Korea; simple, equitable tax system; balanced budget and trade policies; stop the scourge of the opioid crisis; tough, finely tuned, well-trained military; and rein in escalating healthcare costs.