12 Reflections on This Past Year of U.S. Politics
By Mark Boyer
These are a few of my personal ah-hahs from this past year of politics:
1) I have never liked politics, but it is nearly impossible to escape… if we care and want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
2) While I look at politics from the perspective of what kind of world do I want to live in, more often than not I look at what kind of world can best work for all of us. And frequently this is about giving voice to those who have been marginalized or under-represented.
3) Ideologies — religion, political affiliation, philosophy, or propaganda — can sometimes get in the way of our humanity. Rather than ask what my party believes, it’s often better to think critically and humanely about what’s best for all of us.
4) We need a more active and participatory form of government of the people. We cannot afford to be complacent, misinformed, or unengaged. The current representative form of government is too often corrupt by the self-interest and prejudice of politicians who do not understand that their job is to serve as wise and informed leaders in supporting the genuine interests and needs of their constituents.
5) Integrity, ethics, and character are too frequently considered unimportant, and there can never be any long-term good without these.
6) We need to find an appropriate balance for individual freedom and the good of society, and this needs to be an ongoing conversation to build greater clarity and focus.
7) Many of the issues are extremely complex, and too often we impulsively jump to simplistic and narrow answers. They deserve depth of understanding and action.
8) We need to realize that resistance is also a form of patriotism, and we need to become actively involved when government pursues its own agendas over the needs and interests of people.
9) Capitalism and profit should be the result of a good society, and not be the drivers of society.
10) A great country is a SYSTEM that advances the flourishing of people, environment, and all life. A great country collapses when it abandons necessary areas of support for the system in favor of over-emphasis in any particular area (e.g., military).
11. We need to develop the ART OF THE LONG VIEW that is based on facts, data, and truth. Too often we are focused on short-term results or individual legacies, and information is warped to accommodate different agendas. The art of the long view is always forward-thinking with a focus on sustainability.
12. While it is easy to be swayed by what others think and say, we need to continually reflect on our own unique lives to determine what really matters in living fully and enthusiastically.