From Dusk ‘til Dawn and the Political Impasse
Eduardo Rosas for U.S. Congress, Maryland Congressional District 3·Friday, February 9, 2018
My political philosophy can best be described as moderate with views that range from conservative to progressive depending on the issue. To my mind, partisan politics has polarized our country nearly to the point of dysfunction. Both major parties are contributing to this mess. Congress’ work is at an impasse and urgent improvements are sorely in order.
In 2012, David A. Moss, a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School conducted a survey of Harvard Business School alumni, results suggested that the political system in American is broken; and that the troubled political environment could be among the most important threats to U.S. competitiveness. Moss also said that “The Descent into Take-No-Prisoners Politics” and the fierce competition between opposing views of government may not be degenerating into something toxic (again, this was in 2012). Policy making in America is has approached an all-out war, where victory is paramount, “compromise” is a dirty word, and virtually any issue or development can become a weapon for bludgeoning the other side.
“The focus on political purity and winning at any cost is a dangerous, almost Leninist trend”.
What is needed is something basic but demanding: a renewed sense of commitment to the health of the democracy - above party, economic interest, and ideology. That’s critical because the competition between opposing views of government seems to prove most fruitful when it takes places in the context of such a shared commitment: Disagreements may be intense, but they’re taken only so far - as in a family.
Revitalizing America’s culture of democracy is essential. Everyone has a role to play, but business leaders can take four steps to make a difference.
Stand up for civics.
Business leaders should urge public officials—and the public at large—to restore civics to its rightful place in the classroom. Data show that many schools fail to effectively teach the workings of U.S. democracy or the responsibilities that go with citizenship. Just as America cannot be globally competitive without a well-educated workforce, it cannot retain its economic edge without a well-educated electorate that is ready to meet the relentless challenges of democratic governance. There’s nothing wrong with competing views of government. They have served the United States well in the past. For the competition to prove constructive, however, Americans need to remind themselves that the nation’s progress has been rooted in two great philosophies of government, not one. Putting the health of the democracy first is the surest way to get the best of both.
Source: 2o12 Harvard Business Review