Before I retired I was a senior executive in private industry. In managing an organization I found that it was critical to define a long term vision, talk about it, and get broad understanding and acceptance. Decisions that were made throughout the organization were then made to support this vision and the associated strategy of how it was to be attained. It is like deciding to take a long journey from location A (where you are today) to location B (where you want to be sometime in the future – your visionary objective). It is a challenging journey – you don’t have all the needed resources, no easy transportation option, maybe language challenges, etc. There are clearly many paths, options, strategies to choose from, and many decisions along the way. You know you are going to embark on a journey. To be successful, and not just do a random wander, you need to set a destination – your long view vision/objective.
In today’s environment, we, collectively, experience issues/problems/challenges almost daily. Examples are gun violence, homelessness, drug overdoses, health insurance, environmental contamination, terrorism to name a few. We talk about these when they occur, and sometimes we even agree to adopt new regulations or legislation. Less frequently we talk about longer term issues like climate, national debt, social security or voting rights. These discussions result in positive actions rarely. When it comes to the real “long view” of the future of our democracy, it seems relegated to academics and then mostly current trends and challenges. If we are unhappy with the current state of our democracy, then we must discuss and agree on a “long view”.
To further define what I mean by a long view for our democracy, let me share a personal view:
Make our democracy great again when
Success is measured not by acquired wealth, but by genuine happiness free of stress over health, education/skills/employment and family stability;
All citizens have easy access to education, healthcare, employment opportunity;
Community is strong and engaged in helping its own and involved in local governance;
The electoral process is truly fair, accessible, and supportive of electorate values and interests.
A real challenge, surely. The first step is clear however. Lets start talking about what we think our democracy should be for our children and their children. These blog posts will continue to comment on the many varied facets of this challenge.