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:

  • LEADERSHIP: This quality is an attribute of an individual’s brand; and is an earned, trust based, influence relationship between the respective leader, other leaders and followers who intend ethical and moral change that mirror common purpose.
  • INTEGRAL ETHICS: Integral connotes comprehensive, whole, balanced and “best of the best.” Ethics is sincere, private commitment to doing what it takes to expand awareness and show up with caring, love, compassion and a life of full integrity: “walk the talk” in every area of life and “model the way” as an individual; in relationships; and by skillfully helping and supporting others.
  • MORALS: Judgments made by an individual and concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness and badness of human character.
  • VALUES: Determine what a person pays attention to and how the person acts. Examples: trust and trusted; integrity; direct; open; honesty; caring; compassionate; moral; health, wellness and well being; financial viability; leadership; hope; and peace-of-mind.
  • GUIDING PRINCIPLES: Core values that are articulated. Examples: Do not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do. Objective, not self-serving and act in the best interests of the people and organization being served. Committed to the concept of 100% responsibility: life happens because of me and not to me. Do not blame others, learn from one’s own experiences in an intentional and self-directed manner and apply that learning to new challenges. Set a good example for physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity, spiritual awakening, ethical behavior and integration of hidden, denied and repressed reflections manifested in the world. I am a student of life. I am silent self alone. I do everything with love. No matter what I am experiencing, it is arising in the awareness I am.
  • FOLLOWERSHIP: The actions of someone in a subordinate role. The intentional practice on the part of the subordinate to enhance the synergistic interchange between the follower and the leader. Team play.
  • INTEGRAL POLITICS: Awareness and understanding of the inadequacies of political parties because of limited and partial views that do not address the complex issues facing the world today. Requires a transcending and including leadership philosophy to unite multiple perspectives.

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.

Leave a Reply