Today’s media platforms reveal that America’s three-legged democracy stool is missing its third leg. Economics and politics are thriving; and the missing third leg, morality—ethics, character, compassion, decency, goodness, trust, honesty, integrity, probity, self-restraint—is blatantly obvious. Witness suppression of voting rights, mass and social media untruths, cyber and space warfare, infrastructure decay, inequitable wages, healthcare and childcare shortcomings, systemic racism and casts, LGBTQ rights questioned, environmental degradation, untreated mental health, home grown terrorism, immigration overload and inhumanity, thriving white supremacy, inequitable tax systems, failure to prepare for future pandemics, education state-of-the art and funding deficiencies, insane gun control, absence of political leadership, et al. The danger is continued and deepening division, fear, and autocracy; and the opportunity is to confront narcissistic, ego driven behavior; improve common good as individuals; and merge and participate in interactive dialogue and collectively manifest the missing third leg of the stool, morality, and for all Americans. As Jonathan Sacks offers in Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times,
Recovering liberal democratic freedom will involve emphasizing responsibilities as well as rights; shared rules, not just individual choices; caring for others as well as for ourselves; and making space not just for self-interest but also for common good. Morality is an essential feature of our human environment, as important as the market (economics) and the state (politics), but outsourceable to neither. Morality humanizes the competition for wealth and power. It is the redemption of our solitude. (20)
A personal sentiment for a strategic objective, a solid, three-legged stool—economics, politics, and morality—is to have democracy that inspires measurement, evaluation, and incentives based on achievement of common good, “… what is shared and beneficial for all or most members of a given community, or alternatively, what is achieved by citizenship, collective action, and active participation in the realm of politics and public service.” (Wikipedia)
Morality has become a lost virtue and narcissism is on the rampage in America. Mass media headlines offer only the tip of the iceberg. A question for reflection: How can cultural morality be restored? One step at a time! Individually, we each need to become passionately inspired to get our own house in order and to show up for the common good. Collectively, we can merge with groups to facilitate contributions to common good and one can choose to purchase products and services from organizations that have chosen to be measured, evaluated, and incented via a common good report card.