This, Too, Shall Pass

Today’s rough-and-tumble politics is nothing new. Our brightest political lights – beginning with Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison and Adams – have had disagreements that turned as personal and intense as anything playing out in today’s social media, press, or campaign rally – so lamented by many observers.

However, unlike Founding Fathers arguing over “natural rights,” the role of government, or the allocation of power, today’s political leaders focus on whatever boosts polls, cash contributions, or the ardor of a “base” that is to the left or the right of most voters. In the drive for incumbency, politicians focus on dividing, misinforming, and creating fear.

Unfortunately, telling people what they want to hear (or already believe) is not leadership. And creating social media echo chambers that keep people siloed does not shine a light on growing problems. Only when debates focus on the facts can conflict lead to better solutions, diversity to better decisions, and compromise to eventual stability. I believe that the country is well overdue for a courageous leader to do so.

By Joel Peterson