My Thoughts on deciding issues by doing the least damage. How that backfires most of the time.

We decide most of our elections by who is the most popular. The person best equipped to do the job at hand. In the publics best interest. Although that sounds like something a professor would tell you in political science class, it is often not true. Statistics have long shown that public officials all have faults, made mistakes, have skeletons in their closets. For what seems a long time, elections are based on who has the least obvious problems, and who will do the least damage in office. This is a trap.

We have moved further and further into a place where wealth and status separate everyone in a ever-widening gap. That sounds mild, but think of the gap being Grand Canyon sized, and in the middle are little islands of people trying to reach the side where they will be untouchable by the common problems of life. The closest side is crowded with people pushing to get in the middle (those who barely make it) and in the center those who are teetering between having something, and maybe getting enough to cross the abyss, or falling back to the close side.

Our elected officials, our large business owners, private equity, and holding companies are all managed by small group of people are on the far side. They control who crosses over, no one get through unless they say yes. Everyone of the billionaires plays this game. This can include elected officials, governments, societies, dictatorships, presidents of good countries and bad. There are 7,000,000,000 people on our planet, 2857 are billionaires, who control the wealth of the entire world.

Examining who does the least damage to a system that is that broken seems useless. We crowd our bookshelves with expert knowledge, with people with years of experience in their fields, they seemed to have the answers to all problems, if we could just listen to all of them.  Yet if the billionaires tell the president of the United States, we will impact your society if you do certain things. The president listens. Public opinion can not touch billionaires, they reside on the other side of the extreme gap.

If we must chose officials who listen the most to whoever has the most money, then we are choosing a leader based on their desire to be wealthy. If we chose the leader who takes the least money, we have another issue with the same outcome, coming from the opposite pole. But if we chose a leader because her reputation is a bit less tarnished than that of money hungry politician, or selfless activist, we stand to lose.

The strengths of any leader win out in the end. If they are working from a point of least ability, but least negative impact, we end up with someone who talks about leading, is popular, but can’t actually lead.

Judging an issue is the same. What are the strengths of the issue. A perfect example is Black Lives Matter. This is a decentralized, virtue rich initiative, that brought the issue of racial injustice and inequality to a head in a very short time. It focused on the strengths of the leaders, who are spread out all over the world. If those leaders had been chosen based on their not being too controversial, more well known, or better financial circumstances, the initiative would have failed. Not because the people were bad, just that choosing the least offensive, and go-with-the-flow attitudes, does not make for change.

Reform has never really worked, except for those who didn’t want change. Restructuring scares people to the point where they are willing kill to maintain some sense of the good old days. Choosing an elected official who does the least damage, does not mean prosperity, it means more negatives than positives. Issues chosen for there least damaging effect on society, get you ineffective governance and more of the same, negatives, rather than positives. Struggle and challenge is a positive, which can be a topic to itself.

Watch these pages.

Pew research from Jan 2020

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