Progress & Congress

As we observe the two major political parties engage one another during another budget deficit showdown in Washington, I am mindful of the old adage “if the opposite of “pro” is “con”, then the opposite of “progress” must be “congress.”

It’s easy to blame a political party that is not in the power position for obstructing “progress.” Both parties of course complain like this depending on who is in the minority power in any given political season, but here’s the thing… Politics and blocking progress is a part of our storied history as a nation. When one party complains that the other one is “blocking progress,” that is like complaining that the defense on the football field is cheating the “progress” of the team on offense.

This budget showdown is part of our country’s business. No entity can spend on programs more money than it has, which surely any rational person with common sense can acknowledge is ultimately unsustainable.

I’m sure that sometimes even moving toward dictatorship seems attractive because you don’t have to navigate redtape and various personalities with diverse opinions and perspectives, but it is a certain amount of bureaucracy that in fact makes our country so strong. True leadership is not using your title to tell people what to do, but moving people on principles and inspiring them as to why your agenda is best for the nation and then leading a disparate group of people forward effectively.

So, let’s not demonize one another’s opinions, but rather find common ground and work together within the laws of our country and the laws of the physical universe. That is, we cannot spend what we do not have. That is unsustainable and even as our forefathers gave us a great country to steward, we cannot hand down to next generations a bankrupt nation. A finite supply of capital and programs that sustain and grow are our only path forward. Let’s hope for reasonable constructive discourse between the two parties to resolve this problem. But when the discourse is not reasonable, let’s not feign surprise when the opposite party leverages politics to advance their agenda. Let’s instead lead.

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