Presidential Election Blog #2 - april 2019

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The worldview that's dominated America's thinking throughout the 20th Century first emerged during the reign of Elizabeth the 1st of England (1558 – 1603.) It's ruled thinking in the West for three hundred years. It began unraveling during President George W. Bush's tenure (2001– 2009). Today, thankfully, it's precepts, propositions, and beliefs are falling by the wayside faster than rotten apples fall off their sagging tree branches. Make no mistake though, this old, dysfunctional worldview is not gone. Even though it's unraveling it's staging strong rear-guard actions that are doing plenty of damage as it fades away. Far too many of us are still clinging fervently to its remaining branches. 

Who’s Killing Democracy

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Any one who's refusing to notice the way the dysfunctions embedded deep inside this old Elizabethan worldview of ours is one of those who are killing America's democracy. We're shown the signs and signals of these dysfunctions every day -- our TVs and our newspapers are overflowing with stories about immigrant children in steel cages, raging fires in California, deadly ice storms in the Mid-West, and melting ice caps at the North Poll, as well as terrorist atrocities in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and even in New York City. Nonetheless, too many of us are not getting the message. The 20th Century precepts, propositions, and beliefs that lead to these crises are clearly in need of a drastic overhaul. But most of us are too busy with our daily commutes, our mortgages, and our kids' soccer games to either notice or take up the task at hand.

Regardless of whether we recognize these signs for what they are, what's irrefutably true is the fact that the complexity, interconnectivity, and accelerating rates of change that we, through our new technologies and scientific discoveries, have been creating for ourselves since the middle of the 20th century are catching up with us. In small and big ways, these crises are giving us a world that's now actually demanding from each of us complex, interconnected, and agile ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. In the world we're living in today, a new order of consciousness that's capable of comprehending the crises we've created is a must. So far, this is a complex, interconnected, and agile way of thinking, feeling, and acting that most of us have yet to develop.

Getting Prepared for the 2020 Election

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In combination, these real world crises and the unwitting blindness that our old 20th Century worldview is forcing on us means we need to break out of what amounts to a self-induced coma and develop new more sophisticated modes of understanding and new complex forms of thinking. 

For sometime now this is exactly what the pundits have been telling us. In fact, they've been begging us to do five things: 

* Recognize the unconscious blindness that our "Primitive Brains," our "Cave Man Logic," and our "Natural Minds" shackle us to.

* Recognize the constraints and biases that our natural minds force on us.

* Acknowledge the fact that these "natural" modes of thinking don't match up to the complex, interconnected catastrophic crises we're facing.

* Learn something about the new, more expansive, complex, and interconnected modes of thinking that are being demanded from us today. And,

* Step into some kind of developmental effort that will help you get prepared to deal with the complex, interactive, accelerating changes we're facing.

I agree with these pundits; in the months and years ahead, these five things are exactly what every one of us must do.

Next Steps

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In the short run -- between now and 2020 -- I believe our next steps are much simpler. Difficult for sure; but simpler too. Between today and Tuesday, November 3rd 2020, each of us must do three things:

* Understand something more about the ways in which the 20th Century mindsets we're holding onto are tying us to old, outmoded modes of thinking. 

* Understand what the new 21st Century mindset is that our newly complex, interconnected, and accelerating world is demanding from us. And,

* Develop for ourselves some of the precepts, propositions, and belief systems that we need to respond to the crises and challenges that are at the heart of 2020's Presidential election.

Registering for TLO's 2020 Presidential Election Dialogue Series is one good way to address these three tasks. Another is scheduling an exploratory conversation with me so that together we can examine how TLO's Presidential Election Resource Center can help you prepare for the 2020 election. Either of these is a good way for you to step into these three tasks.

Regardless of whether you make use of my support, there are other resources you could use. For instance, you could use The Bipartisan Policy Center to inform you about the best Republican and Democratic policy proposals. Or, you could access The Pew Research Center, which is in business to offer those who are interested the kinds of substantiated facts that facilitate open, evidence-based public dialogues.

Regardless of the resource you use, the point is to get started thinking and talking about the new order of consciousness and the new modes of thinking that the 2020 Presidential Election process is demanding from us. Given that you want to make wise, well-reasoned, adequately evidenced 21st Century decisions on election day, any one of these four doors is a good one to open.


Presidential Election Blog #1 - February 2019

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On Tuesday, November 3rd 2020, you and I, alongside 160 million other U.S. citizens, will be asked to participate in a variety of local, statewide, and national elections. These elections, in one way or another, will be asking us to do two things. First, decide who should be our next president, our next vice president, our next senators and congresspersons, as well as our next state and local officials. Second, affirm or reject the direction forward that our current politicians have forged for us over the last several years. This election is 22 months away, but even now it’s obvious that these choices will be among the most consequential we'll ever make.

 It’s also clear the issues that are at the heart of this election involve some of the most complex, highly controversial choices that have ever been on a national ballot. Most of these choices are now, and will continue to be, too complex for most of us, as solitary individuals, to truly understand. These ballot choices won’t offer us any heroes. Nor will they offer us any simple right or wrong choices, no sure, decisive ways forward. Nonetheless, the votes we cast, the choices we make will be seminal. 

 Without some serious preparation, some kind of focused self-directed educational effort, I believe most of us won’t be able to make wise, well-informed decisions in 2020. Without serious, concentrated preparation, the decisions we’ll make 22 months from now will most likely be choices that have been influenced and even inflamed by the highly polarized political environment that’s been the touchstone of our politics for years. In this environment, getting ready to make wise, well-reasoned, adequately evidenced choices will require the kind of concerted educational effort that most of us have never thought necessary. Before now. 

 An Invitation

 I’ve thought about all this, and have concluded that I know only one good way to get ready for our November 3rd, 2020 elections. Between now and then I, with a few select others, need to engage in an extended series of dialogue sessions, where each session is one that’s focused on specific aspects of this election in an open-ended conversation about what wise, responsible choices could and should look like.

 Consequently, starting today, I’m convening a series of quarterly Presidential Election Dialogue Sessions. Each of the dialogues in this series will be focused on getting those participating fully prepared to cast wise and reasoned votes in all the various elections they’ll be involved in during November 2020. 

Join me in this effort. I realize that asking you to say "yes" to this experiment is big. But, given all that we’ve watched and been a part of over the last couple of years, doesn’t it seem like getting involved in this kind of preparatory effort is absolutely necessary? Perhaps even an important part of our civic duty?