We are living in a time of intense emotions about policy, politics and the future path the American culture and nation will be taking. From the decline of the middle class to the existential threat of global warming, we are faced with problems and decisions which are for most, if not all of us, overwhelming.
IMHO, the biggest threat is the increased reliance of emotion in our public decision making and the marginalizing of reasoned discourse and measurable outcomes and data. Two generations ago we were a people willing to take on any challenge from fighting fascism and rebuilding and protecting a world devastated by a global industrial war to putting a person on the moon. Today, we point fingers, deny the existence of a problem, call each other names and shout at each other.
In the winter of 2015, I presented a talk at TEDxBillings about how fear is coming to dominate our political discourse. As our understanding of the world has become more complicated and nuanced, our discourse is more emotional and limited to 140 characters.
In this context, I step back into public political life to try to bring the discourse back to reason and data. I am trying to bring the tools of analysis I learned in graduate school, as a policy analyst and as a business analyst to the public sphere.
The process is simple. Identify a problem. Research and analyze the root cause of the problem. Decide on an appropriate outcome among stakeholders. Develop a plan to address the problem and enable the desired outcome. Test to see if your solution work. If it did, great. Monitor to make sure it continues to work. If not, take what you have learned and return to step. Repeat as necessary.
This isn’t left or right. It isn’t conservative or liberal. It isn’t capitalist or socialist. It is science and the business of management applied to social issues. It works and has worked for decades in American and global businesses. We need to bring it to the public realm.
The first step is to stop screaming at each other and trying to impose our ideology on each other. The first step is to talk to each other, calmly. And listen.
I am running for office because we need to listen to each other and work together to find solutions to some very serious problems.