With all of the useful conversations about common sense, I am not a fan of using this concept as a way of influencing political discussions. Everyone thinks they have common sense. So appealing to someone to use common sense in order to change their positions is unlikely to be effective. Their view of what comprises common sense may be very different than yours.
Start with probing for common goals, taking care to avoid seeing agendas and tactics as overall goals. For example, if the discussion is about the use of force as part of foreign policy, a goal might be to serve the best interests of the US with the least expenditure to blood and treasure. Statements like “Bring all the troops home!” or “The UN has failed. America must be the world’s cop.” are both examples of conclusions and tactics, not overall goals.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
In part, Revolution 2.0™ is focused on seeking common goals. (How’s that for a party name?) I am registered as Unaffiliated in CO; there are more of those than either Republicans or Democrats here. Don’t most of us, regardless of party affiliation, share the same common, bedrock goals? I don’t mean desires that many share like wanting this party or this candidate to win (or the other party or person to lose), I mean the core, meaningful, underlying goals that most of us share. Find the common ground (yes, it exists), add statistically-significant facts, then apply non agenda-based reasoning to achieve the desired goals. It works. And if the discussion falls off track, go back to the common goals–the touchstone–to get back on track. Back to bedrock.
Let’s look at a few examples together:
Education Goal: Having the best pre-K thru 12 education with the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Note, this does not presuppose one and only one way to get there. None of these goals do. A good starting approach here might be to allow free access to equally funded traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools via vouchers. Allow parents to make the right decision for their children, and allow competition to deliver the best product for the kids, parents and society.
Poverty Goal: Getting people out of poverty and into comfort in a way that they can eventually stay there on their own. And providing lifetime support for those who can’t provide for themselves.
Race Goal: Achieving racial harmony and overall success. Not by using race to support any particular ideology, and not by being afraid of being politically incorrect. We can get there–together–only by recognizing the strengths, and, yes, and weaknesses, of each ethnicity. It will take great courage in today’s political climate to speak this necessary truth.
Gender harmony and overall success goal: Pause for the truth. Men and women are not the same. And races are different. And herein lies enormous power. We can lean on and benefit greatly from the various strengths of the races and genders, using those positives to shore up the accompanying weaknesses. Learn from each other. Depend on each other’s strengths. In this way, the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. 1 + 1 + 1 = 15–or more. But only in this way. If we defy part of the fundamental genius of God and nature and insist the that all ethnicities and both genders are the same, the whole–all of us–can never be more than, well, a collection of people with much the same to offer. 1 + 1 + 1 = 3–at best.
Abortion/Pro Life/Pro Choice Goal: Given that all of us are truly pro life and pro choice in the original and powerful definitions of life and choice, how then do we have an honest debate about this critical issue? If we can decide where we stand on the two following questions, I think we’ll have it:
- When does life begin?
- When is it appropriate for the state to sanction the taking of a life?
Tax and money Goal: Setting tax and other economic policies to maximize the national economy, lower the burden on individuals–and do it in a way that allows the government to do its defined jobs efficiently, jobs that government does uniquely well. It is not a question of generally preferring higher or lower taxes. The question is clearer than that: 1. How much money is required to support the government in the tasks it does best and (what is it that government does uniquely well? 2. What is the lowest tax structure that delivers the required funds while being fair to those taxed?
What are some other examples of areas where we have/can have common ground? Tell me, tell others. We are interested.
None of these questions have easy answers; seeking common goals is another example of the journey being more important than the destination. Searching common goals directs the conversation away from cliches, foregone conclusions and “proof by insult” or “accusation by identity”, toward manageable, productive conversations. Conversations that can lead to, well, bringing us together and realizing the promise of Revolution 2.0™.
Yesterday, alone, I was politically homeless. Today, working together–working with you–I know we will build a political home together, a home built on the foundation of common goals, and erected with “Passionate, Relentless Reasoning.” Not middle-of-the-road, compromise thinking. Passionate about finding and implementing a new way of thinking and doing.
Reminder. Search yourself and with others for common goals, the very discoverable common goals. Use common sense in your own search, but don’t push that tack with others. Everyone thinks they have common sense, and it will be impossible to convince them otherwise. We can all get specific with the definition of each common goal, so let’s focus there.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.