Coercion and compromise are unsustainable problem-solving tactics. Elected and appointed officials know that the United States is in the grip of a level of divisiveness and polarization that has made public respect for elected and appointed officials all-but-extinct, and sensible integrative problem-solving nearly impossible. The same is true in many other countries as well.
A climate of coercion and compromise has poisoned citizen trust in national, state, and local governments. This translates into elected officials getting caught up in perpetual power struggles, hair pulling, time wasting, gridlock, and constituent rage, no matter what position they take on an issue.
The gulf between intention and skills: Although most public servants have honorable intentions, few have the skills needed to successfully restore trust in government. Citizens don’t trust governance that operates by coercion, compromise and opacity. Yet, those are the tactics at which most elected officials excel. As long as the capacity for collaborative problem-solving lags far behind the honorable intentions that most public servants have, trust in government will remain at an all-time low.
It's time to bridge that gulf: The time has come to equip elected and appointed officials, and their senior staff, with missing mindsets and skills for catalyzing sensible integrative problem-solving to craft meaningful legislation that a broader cross-section of citizens are aching to support. Those citizens are today’s Silent Majority who are aching to trust government again, and they are waiting for you to hold them accountable for making government trustworthy again.
Bridging the gulf requires eradicating the last “Ism” that is still widely endorsed. During the past 50-75 years we have made progress in reducing various "isms," such as racism, sexism, ageism, and so forth. We might have different perspectives about how much progress has been made with each and how much is left to do, but it seems that very few people believe that no progress has been made with each of the isms... except for one: Politicism, or as it is increasingly called, political sectarianism.
Politicism is a significant factor in fueling citizen distrust in government. Politicism continues to rage in national, state and local governments. Because executive and legislative bodies persist in practicing this “last of the socially accepted isms,” it should be no surprise that their role modeling is fueling the continuation of other isms that continue to perpetuate divisiveness and polarization around our country, including among their constituents. Politicism is:
- Directly or indirectly asserting that one's group's political orientation is the only one that's wise, whole, and complete
- Downplaying the gold in the “other” group's perspectives and ignoring the wisest most collaborative individuals who are part of that group
- Negatively stereotyping, demeaning, and dismissing a political orientation based on the most ideologically extreme or ill-intended people in the “other” group
- The final form of socially accepted bigotry that vast numbers of people continue to publicly promote.
No one wins politicism wars. Charles Eisenstein says it well:
- "I won’t take sides in the culture war, not because I think both sides are equal or that all viewpoints are equally true, but because…
- I believe that the blind spots both sides share are more significant, and more dangerous, than their disagreements, and
- Beneath the conflict is a hidden unity that will emerge when all parties humbly try to understand the other."
Holders of elected office are role models...
- …Whether or not they want to be — similar to celebrities and famous athletes.
- Gang warfare makes communities dangerous and dysfunctional. Legislative bodies practice their own version of gang warfare by pursuing bad blood vendetta agendas against “opposing” political factions.
- This is the governmental version of the classic American musical, West Side Story: It’s the legislative branch equivalent of the Jets vs the Sharks.
Government brand slaughter:
- It's no wonder that Congressional approval ratings range from 31% at best to 11% at worst. A business with customer satisfaction ratings this low would be out of business in a very short time.
- High levels of Politicism, the governmental version of West Side Story, and low levels of legislative body approval, have combined to create Governmental Brand Slaughter.
Re-establishing governmental brand humility
- If you serve in government and you're still reading this, it’s likely that you’re among those public servants who recognize the vast damage that Politicism creates, and the damage of continuing the counterproductive melodrama of the governmental version of West Side Story.
- You likely therefore also know that government is overdue in restoring Brand Integrity in the eyes of the American public… since today’s Silent Majority oppose divisiveness and hyper-polarization.
The Government Trust Restoration Project is for elected and appointed government officials and their chiefs of staff who...
- Want to catalyze the reunification of individual freedom and social responsibility in governance
- Recognize that our country, states, and communities are destroyed when these two foundational cornerstones of free societies (freedom and responsibility) are divided and polarized
- Retain good will, high intentions, and loving hearts
- Recognize that Politicism and Governmental Brand Slaughter are a toxic threat to our individual liberty and collective wellbeing
- Believe that now is the time to end Politicism and restore integrity to national, state and local government
- Want to foster legislation that integrates freedom and responsibility, and who want to replace...
- Politicism with collaboration
- Tyranny with freedom
- Narcissism with responsibility... and
- Government Brand Slaughter with Government Brand Integrity
See Addendums 1 and 2 below for sample training modules for government officials.
The Government Trust Restoration Project is looking for connections to state/provincial and federal elected officials who would be interested in participating in this training program. Click the help icon toward your lower right to get in touch with Dr. Gruder.