In conjunction with the President’s State of the Union Address, we have annually, semi-humbly offered our annual “State of the Government” analysis. Consistently in that analysis, we’ve opined the following…
Our government is:
- Too partisan
- Too influenced by money
- Too big
- Too financially imbalanced
- And too far removed from the Constitution.
And this was all true prior to the 2016 elections.
So let me insert an additional “too”:
We are too divided.
My sense is we are too divided because we look at socio-political issues from a singular perspective — thus from a limited perspective… from the left/right, black/white, rich/poor, etc. We aren’t good at looking through the perspective of someone who thinks/looks/acts/votes differently than we.
Remember one of my favorite singular perspectives, creatively expressed six years ago?
Let’s say I’m a peanut farmer. I love peanuts. I love peanuts so much, I grow them in my backyard. (I’ve got a big backyard.) I start my own business and it takes off — so much so, it’s hard to keep up; it becomes a massive business, and we are providing ample nutrition to many across the country. It’s a good thing, but nuts are all I think about!
But in order to advance my cause, I need specific legislation to be enacted — or refrained from. Remember: all I’m focused on is nuts. I need to thus ensure the Food & Drug Administration doesn’t become too sensitive regarding nut nutrition. I need to ensure my state doesn’t limit the land I till. I need to also ensure that no new taxes are tacked on to our cultivating equipment, so I can keep my costs low. In fact, I’m hoping they raise the speed limit so I can deliver more peanuts more quickly.
So many decisions affect my ability to produce peanuts — economically and socially. I’m concerned. Hence, I form N.U.T.S. — the “National Union for Tilling Soil” — in order to mobilize more people who share my singular focus; this way we can affect political change. We don’t care about almonds or pecans or even those high-calorie cashews. Our special interest is peanuts. Nuts it is.
Since the lobbyist laws were eased in the late ’70’s, we have more access to lawmakers. I don’t mean to be mean, but I will let them know we will only contribute to their individual campaigns if they support our nuts. We will speak out against their legislation regarding pickles and potatoes unless they support nuts. We will be wholeheartedly supportive of them, however, as long as they advance economic and social policy favorable to our cause. Our focus is on one thing and one thing only. Our money will back that up… millions… yes, millions… oh, nuts.
It’s not that the passion of the peanut farmer is right or wrong; the problem is that they are not concerned about the totality of effective, responsible government. A healthy state of the union is reflected in the totality of an effective, responsible government.
In order to achieve that healthy state, we must surrender the binary, divisive, partisan choices. We need to quit advocating for singular, limited perspectives. Especially when they’re nuts.