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My Blog Launch

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

As a newbie to blogging and writing I’m looking forward to any and all guidance, feedback, and mentorship. Reading is my passion and I hope to support other authors in any way I can.

An exit ramp for mass shootings and gun violence

Take the exit ramp to get off of the road to hell

The following is my proposed roadmap of actions which are reasonable and might bring together seemingly opposing viewpoints:

Universal background checks required nation wide for all persons seeking to purchase a gun. Seems reasonable so persons with history of violence and/or mental illness/emotionally disturbed persons do not get to buy a gun. If you commit felonies (which by definition are crimes of a serious nature) in my opinion you have given up your right to own a gun. Non-violent misdomener offenses should not preclude you from purchasing a gun. With regard to restricting gun ownership for persons with mental health issues, their medical records privacy should be protected by HHPA. However, if there is a criminal record (particularly with respect to violent or felony offences) this should be the factor that precludes them from obtaining a gun. Reasonable?

  • Red flag laws and procedures that track and treat all persons who indicate intention to do bodily harm to themselves or others. This could apply to any sort of threat particularly if it includes intention or capability to use a firearm. The tracking could be generated by any source (i.e, verbal intention, altercations, social media, etc.) My focus on the “trace and treat” proposal was spawned by the focus on “tracing and treating” deployed during the pandemic. Since we have a pandemic of violence, why not deploy the same methodology. I further propose this idea of tracking and treating as a means of violence mitigation having been on a mall cop on the secne of many a fight. Instead of just breaking them up, issuing Promises To Appear in court, why not deploy an intensive series of treatment sessions with the combattants and their respective families to get to the source of violence.
  • Maybe we could develop a computer analysis matrix where the following ingredients of speech/writing/communication could trigger (no pun intended) follow up to appropriately track and treat. The following “perfect storm” of intentions could be….hate speech…..specific plans/intentions…..purchases (stockpiling of weapons and ammo). Only if a clearly identified toxic mix is documented, would the red flag be raised necessitating tracking and treating. For example, just researching about guns/ammo would not generate concern but when taken in the aggregate this would necessitate follow up.
  • Consider a recent suggestion which I think was offered by Elon Musk in which a special permit would be required for the purchase of any assault rifle. The special permit would require more intensive background checking and vetting. This might be preferable (and more realistically doable) that trying to implement a ban. I got to thinking, maybe we could even go further in this direction and create specially designated enterprises where people could try out and practice with all sorts of weaponry and tactics. I might sign up for this endeavor where I could experience the thrill of firing an assault weapon, tossing a grenade, firing a bazooka, tossing a molotov coctail, firing an RPG, and maybe even get to blow something up (all of the aforementined activities with training and supervision of course). I consider this endeavor akin to going to a race track and getting to drive a formula one racer in a safe environment. As with a race track where you do not get to drive the race car home with you, the weaponry would have to remain on-site but you would get to experience the thrill of using it on site while the rest of society remans safe. My thinking is that this scenario might address the demand that people have the right to access weaponry. Like I said, I would sign up for this experience and I’m sure I’m not alone.
  • The military have the mantra that “we leave no one behind” , religions make frequent reference to “being each others brothers keeper” and signs in subways and public places always implore us to “see something, say something”. Got me to thinking, what if as a society we all took it upon ourselves to more closely monitor each other for signs of impending mass shooter and violent outbursts. Without becoming a “big brother” society, maybe we could become a more compassionate (and curious) society that’s more alert to the tell tale signs of trouble (i.e., isolation, hatred, depression, etc.). Take this a step farther and specifincaly create a “buddy system” so everybody pledges to make sure that at least one other person does not “fall off the radar screen” and decend into a hell for themselves and the rest of us.
  • If we were to implement all of the above referenced ideas this could coincide with the reimagining of our police. Instead of the cops riding around being on the lookout for unknown threats and criminals, maybe their time would be better spent teaming up with therapists, outreach workers, social workersl youth counselors, probation officers, parole officers, peer mentors/violence mitigators. If done correctly, it might even make the role of being a cop more satisfying and meaningful.
  • Of course, there is always the option of hardening the targets. This includes bullet resistant windows/doors, controled access systems, check points with screening, I.D. verifications, pat-downs, video surveillance and facial recognition. All of these measures have their value, espeially in public, high-target settings such as schools, public facilities, malls, etc. but target harding can only go so far. Remember how the castles and moats in the middle ages were effective for a while but ultimately were penetrated from both inside and outside their walls.
  • As always, I’m always keen to hear feedback. In closing, if we continue on this course I fear that we will devolve into a very dark anarchistic place that will resemble the scene from The Kingsman movie where violent mayhem overtakes a church revival while the song “Free Bird” plays in the background. Check this video clip out if you get chance, let’s hope it’s not a window into the future.
Let’s do something now or continue on the road to perdition

The Narrows and the Shallows

Don’t be narrow, Don’t be shallow. Think big, Think Long Term. Don’t be distracted by mundane events and small talk

The NARROWS

Their line of sight is narrow

They can only think in one direction

They can never back up. They can not Re-chart. Re-tool.

They only talk to each other.

They only listen to each other.

They only listen on rare occasions, always keen to positions that match their stance.

They only know what they know.

At best, they ignore others. At worst, they berate them.

Life is simple but lonely when your a narrow.

The SHALLOWS

Their channel used to run deep. in some cases.

But they stopped thinking, stopped questioning.

In other cases, they never thought deep. Beyond soap operas, talent shows, pop culture trivia. Their world is Americas Favorite Videos, Americas Got Talent, Access Hollywood.

They gossip at work and parties while innocents are killed by drive -byes, nations attack each other and the planet surges toward extinction. But they are up-to-date on the latest trends in pop culture be that shopping, music, dance and retail discounts.

They are the shallows. They don’t vote, they don’t support causes but they do plenty of talking on the phone, watching tv, binge watching, internet surfing.

The SHALLOWS bring to mind the phrase “rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic”

My call to action…..Don’t be a NARROW. Don’t be a SHALLOW.

Get involved. Do something significant. To borrow the motto of the Air Force…Aim High

50 Shades of Patriotism

Patriotism is not a one size fits all formula
Just another example of how we cut some slack for the rich

So if you’re looking for some steamy story in this blog, you will be disappointed.

The inspiration for this blog was the following observaton:

An oversized pick up (mint condition without a speck of dust having never done a day of gritty manual labor) came roaring by (wasting gas using up what remains of our fossil fuels) and sporting 2 massive flags. One of Old Glory and one of the Confederacy (the guys who severed ties to the Union and essentially gave their their finger to the USA). Anyways, this guys truck was plastered with stickers proclaiming to be a true patriot, god-fearing, supporter of all that is righteous. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I see this display of patriotism, I get the feeling that this guy thinks he’s a true American and I’m somehow a wimpy, less patriotic American.

He’s entitled to his opinions and his right to display them. Thankfully, we would agree that we live in a country where such freedom of expression is allowed.

What irritated me was the feeling I get from him and many others is that he is somehow more patriotic, more religious, more morally grounded, more hard working than the rest of us peasants.

Got me to thinking, what about me? Am I not a patriot? Here’s the contribution that I and my ancestors have made to this country.

  • I’ve worked 2 & 3 jobs for the last 30+ years. That’s no weekends free, no vacations for 30 years. Why? I’ve been supporting America. Paying mortgages, car payments, putting kids thru college. Now that’s patriotic.
  • I’ve worked 30+ years in non-profits and governments in fields that include the following: affordable housing, community development, redevelopment, economic development and mental health. I’ve done the best I can with the resources available to me (just like patriots have been doing since the origins of our republic). In the course of my working in a wide variety of fields this has afforded me opportunities to meet an amazing array of persons of various socio-economic, racial, ethnic, cultural backgrounds. Having a first hand view of the strength and diversity of America, it makes me both proud and optimistic about America. Now that’s patriotic!
  • I’ve worked over 15 years on weekends as a mall cop. This has exposed me to a combination of the good, the odd, the bad and the ugly (which is the title of one of the chapters of my novel entitled Mall Child. A fictionalized recap of the life of a mall cop).Instead of turning me negative on America, I have come to understand it and appreciate it with all its blemishes. Being a mall cop has forced me to confront my own prejudices and contemplate the challenges and opportunities of reimagining the criminal justice system (from cops to prosecutors to judges and jails and restorative justice). Being patriotic is more than waving a big flag, slapping a bumper sticker on your car, shouting a sound bite, living in the past and thinking linear in your own sound chamber. Being patriotic is questioning authority, thinking more deeply, building upon what’s good and tossing what’s bad.
  • As for my ancestors, they were patriotic in an understated manor. They served in WW2. They didn’t march around in camo outfits on Main Street or in the Mall. They didn’t talk much about what they did. They got busy. They came back to raise families, attend school and got busy working/contributing. Being Irish-American, most of them were cops. They carried revolvers on their service belts like a carpenter carries a hammer on his work belt. Like carpenters, their gun was a tool of the trade to be used as necessary. Growing up in this environment, I never experienced the culture of gun fetishes’ that permeates the wanna-be cops, wanna-be soldiers who never seemed to grow out of childhood fantasies of playing army and cops/robbers games.

So what’s the call to action for us “Silent Majority” Patriots

  • Be proud of the contribution that you and your ancestors have made, just as I have outlined above concerning me and my ancestors. Don’t be ashamed of being an understated patriot quietly going about your life, your work and supporting your causes.
  • Don’t shrink from reminding (tactfully) the boastful patriot’s that you are also a patriot in your unique way. Maybe you will broaden their perspective. If they remain hell bent on claiming to be uber-patriots, know that it’s time to cut your losses and focus on uniting the Silent Majority Patriots (the SMP’s)
  • Be creative and determined to network with fellow SMP’s so that on election day the loud mouth patriots and the sideliners (persons who can not decide, can not take stands) will be shocked by overwhelming turn out by the Silent Majority Patriots (SMP’s).
  • Utilize the tactics and techniques of an underground resistance force supporting each other when threatened. Act like volunteer firemen who responding to the fire bell. Act like the original American patriots (aka, the Minutemen of New England) who jumped to action upon hearing that “The British Are Coming”. Constantly be in communication with each other while constantly recruiting like minded members.
  • The following quote (one of my favorites) sums up the message of this blog and it’s call to action:
  • Patriotism is fully supporting your country and your government, when it deserves it.
  • Dissent is Patriotic

Resilience

This blog started as a message to my adult children (as much of my blogging is an attempt to share with them my reflections and suggestions based upon a life of experience from which I hope that they might benefit from long after I’m gone)

That said, this theme of RESILIENCE is a broader message to the rest of us….as in the USA.

No matter what happens personally or nationally, it’s my observation that RESILIENCE is the key to staying the course and moving beyond to bigger and better.

Over the Easter Holiday I had “the talk” with my adult children. Not the talk about where babies come from but “the talk” that tells them that no matter what the future holds and no matter what trials and tribulations they experience, DO NOT let that get them off track and get the better of them.

Just because there are curve balls and setbacks in life (and there surely will occur, sometimes in quick and devastating succession), be RESILIENT. It’s ok to be sad and depressed for a while but don’t let it fester and become a life-long funk.

Our ancestors had plenty of set backs and tragedies but they forged on and so can you.

As for the rest of us…..the USA…..dark clouds are gathering but likewise RESILIENCE is essential if the storm is to be weathered. Adaptability and resiliency are the keys to survival personally and nationally.

The Hour Glass

Time is running out while we scamper about oblivious in our distractions
  • You don’t like what you see, but you still watch the TV
  • Go ahead and take another selfie
  • You don’t like what you hear, but to the ballot box you will not go near
  • You offer your thoughts and prayers but the shootings go on for years
  • You feel fine and figure there’s time, but health fails and life as you know it pales
  • You don’t like the behavior but in your world the stocks are the savior.
  • You still get to speak your mind but it’s only a matter of time before they tell you to get in line
  • The clock is ticking, the earth is taking a licking.
  • Truth is on the decline, while leaders have lost their spine.
  • You won’t wear a mask. You won’t keep your distance. When your hospital bill lands, I’m gonna sit on my hands
  • There’s still time, but only if we find our spine.

Stay tuned for more reflections on dunnwriteswell.com written from Arkham Asylum

Give credit where credit is due

When it comes to what Democrats and Progressives do and what they get credit for, there appears to be a disconnect that hurts them at the voting booth.

Got me to thinking there should be a 3 column litmus test to match up the following:

What they accomplish

What they get credit for

Who they need to win over.

The following are presented as examples:

Health care coverage for persons with pre-existing conditions

Every beneficiary should be considered a supporter. Don’t assume they’ll be a supporter. Dem’s need to connect the dots between not having coverage and getting it.

Medicare recipients support Medicare generally giving it high marks and support the concept of Medicare for-all. Many of the Medicare recipients are older, working class persons who tilt toward conservative right wing candidates. Why do they not like the Dems who support the programs that they like and programs that they need?

Crime and Punishment issues/policies

Dems are frequently pegged as soft on crime.

But they support sensible gun regulation such as universal background checks. All polls show that the majority of Americans (of most political stripes or no political stripes) support for this. So why don’t the Dem’s corner the Tough On Crime market?

Sadly, there are so many victims of violence and gun violence in particular, why couldn’t all the extended families become stalwart supporters of sensible gun regulations.

If Dem’s could firmly establish themselves as tough-on-violent crime, they might actually get back those voters for whom crime and safety is a top issue.

Child care tax credit

Dem’s are synonymous with this popular program. The question remains, will all those who benefit make their way to the voting booth.

College Debt Forgiveness

Dem’s have not yet passed this and it’s prospects are doubtful. However, even if college debt got forgiven, based on past history of ingratitude among beneficiaries it’s doubtful that Dem’s will benefit at the voting booth.

Infrastructure

For every bridge built and rail line upgraded, make sure it’s the Dem’s that did it. Make sure that all contractors, small businesses and working class/blue collar workers know who brought them the bridge, rail line and whatever is built.

Small Businesses, Contractors, Working Class need to be brought back into the Dem’s tent

For every program show how your employees (and by default your company benefits). Examples: Day care and health care (affordable) means employees are happier and you are not on the hook for providing these benefits.

Democrats and Progressives need to become the Party of Consequences & Personal Responsibility

How?

Make sure every proposal and every program includes consequences for bad behavior and requirements for personal responsibility.

Examples:

Health insurance…..if you don’t take steps to improve your health, don’t complain about high rates

Crime/Addictions…If you don’t mend your ways (stop committing crime) and don’t get the therapy/rehab that you need to beat your addictions, don’t complain about doing the time.

Child care……At some point you need to stop having children that you can not afford.

Dem’s need to be the party of Tough-Love:

Tough as described above concerning consequences and personal responsibility

Love as described above keeping people healthy, safe, and educated all in an affordable manor.

The Boiling Point

Are you worried about world problems? Not me, not yet

We’ve all heard the story of the frogs in the pot of water that gradually gets so hot that it boils them and they miss the opportunity to hop out of the pot,

Got me to thinking…there’s all sorts of pots that are heating up to the point of no return if we are not careful.

Examples:

Global Warming: So much written about this I can not add much but let’s consider the following:

  • wild fire every day
  • hurricane every day
  • crop failure
  • famine

How bad does it have to get?

Mass shootings….does there have to be one every day….in every community?

Regular shootings of the day-to-day local community variety. This is actually happening in high crime areas. But it has not hit the “boiling point”. Why? because its not happening every day in every neighborhood, every community. I’m not saying this should happen but at what point would the expression “enough is enough” really be taken to heart by everyone? Do we have to reach a point at which you had a 50-50 chance of getting to your car without being shot before we collectively did something about it?

The national debt/deficit: The ultimate example of out-of-site, out-of-mind until the shit hits the fan and money is worthless and it’s too late.

Racism and police brutality: Follows the pattern of “it’s not real until it happens to you”.

What do all of the above situations have in common

  • They’re insidious. They sneak up on us.
  • They affect other people. Until they affect us (and it’s too late).
  • Our political system (binary winner take all format) and never ending campaigning cycles do not allow for strategic, long term tackling of issues that require dedicated, forward thinking strategies.

So….until the day comes when every family of every socio-economic, cultural, racial, ethnic sector of our society is directly negatively affected, the respective problems will not be sufficiently real. The frogs got cooked and so will they.

Lastly, there are those that insist that the covid-19 pandemic is hoax and there is no reason to get vaccinated or wear a mask even when the virus causes their death. These frogs not only remained blissfully heating up in the pot, they made a conscious decision to remain in the pot.

If you have any further insights or comments concerning my dire predictions, I would be delighted to further understand these existential threats.

Odd bedfellows: Libertarian’s and UBI (Universal Basic Income)

Finding Common Ground

I just finished reading the book “Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff” by Matt Kibbe. It was an interesting read and I agreed with a bunch of it. On the other hand, there was a bunch that did not sit well with me. Especially when some of the manifestations and mutations of this simple down-to-earth core principle of Libertarianism gets twisted and radicalized. However, I digress and that’s a topic for another couple of blogs, so stay tuned for later releases.

While reading what author Kibbe calls his “Libertarian Manifesto”, I kept thinking of the intersect of libertarian principles (some of which I support) and the Universal Basic Income (UBI, much of which I support). I highlight the following ways in which these seemingly odd bedfellows of ideas might support each other:

  • KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), both libertarian’s and UBI’s support limited government and streamlined policies. With regard to UBI’s, the principle is to get a monthly subsistence check (presumably $1,000) into EVERYONES hands with minimum regulatory oversite and bureaucratic administration. Concepts near and dear to the hearts of most libertarians.
  • Non-discrimination with no gaming of the system with winners and losers’. Once you establish complicated programs (whether that be the distribution of funds or the taxing of citizens/companies), you create a resentment syndrome whereby the “losers” ask “why did he qualify for the benefit” and not me. In a perfect libertarian world, everybody is treated equally unless you go around hurting others in which case there needs to be consequences. Libertarians should like the clarity of the UBI where you get a check if you are over age 18 and of sound mind (i.e., you are not conserved financially) and as long as you are not incarcerated (in which case you already have 3 hots and a cot on a daily basis).
  • UBI is premised on the notion that people know best what to do with their money and if given the opportunity they will use it to their best advantage. This thinking jives perfectly with the libertarian emphasis on self-determination with minimum government oversite and meddling in your personal affairs. Given this symbiotic relationship, it intrigues my why there is not a stronger and more supportive relationship between UBIers and Libertarian’s.
  • After working over 40 years in government and non-profit sectors implementing policies, administering programs, and reading regulations in fields spanning community development, economic development, affordable housing and mental health, I’ve come around to the KISS model as the most cost-effective method of doing the most good for the most people. So philosophically, I have gravitated somewhat to the libertarian camp without sharing my sleeping bag with libertarian extremists. As a radical pragmatist, I warmed up to the UBI model viewing it as a financial safety net (a progressive, liberal notion) while encouraging self-determination without bureaucratic snares (a libertarian notion). Full disclosure, I just used the term “radical pragmatist” after listening to a lecture by Robert Woodson who describes himself as a “radical pragmatist” when asked “what’s your political affiliation?”.

I further dig into the weeds of this proposal by offering the following observations:

  • Libertarians are a very cost conscious, debt averse bunch. That’s a good thing. UBIers are pegged as unreasonable dreamers clueless about where the money comes from to make the UBI payments. If the UBIers could convince the Libertarians that the money could come from the following sources, we might be able to make that odd bedfellow marriage work.
  • Apply higher taxes on the top 2% of Americas wealthiest. It’s not gonna cripple them or the economy. Libertarians will like this sense of fairness by replacing the corrupt current system where those who currently make the most money pay the least taxes. This is where libertarians and populists can join forces (remember the “occupy movement” and the sense of unfairness expressed by Tea Party members). So let’s address that discontent head on while circumventing the nasty, divisive ethnic, racial, culture wars. Stick to dollars and cents practicalities which every true libertarians who is not sidetracked by culture wars is fundamentally concerned about. Stick to replacing the tax code (that is currently 75,000 pages) with a flat tax whereby tax payers can complete their taxes on a post card. Again, KISS.
  • Cut the military budget by 2%. Fully fund the military to be capable of fighting the NEXT war (i.e., cyber warfare, terrorism, special ops, intel, outer space defense, etc.) but maybe not keep building aircraft carriers and tanks believing that WW3 will be a repeat of WW2. Libertarians will like this because they abhor entangling alliances and support America First policies.
  • Cut the bureaucratic overhead of the current system of administering all the complex social service benefit distributions. A 2% cut here might be reasonable and all the funds we currently funnel through the maize of social programs (welfare, food stamps, etc.) could be redirected to the UBI payments. Libertarian’s foist the notion that if the bureaucratic over-reach that stifles creativity was eliminated the problems that beset society would be more directly and effectively tackled. Maybe we could pivot to UBI and hold the libertarians “feet the fire” giving them a chance to show how home grown, organic solutions could create the best of both worlds. If libertarians get accused of being heartless cutting away all government supports, let the UBI be the financial safety net that gives the libertarians time to to prove the naysayers wrong.
  • As election cycles come and go and as crisis’s ebb and flow (pandemics, gas price hikes, etc.) it seems like politicians of all stripes nibble at the edges of real solutions. They offer a tax break here, a stimulus check there, and a dizzying array of program proposals targeted to address special circumstances of sub-groups. Result: confusion, false sense of accomplishment, resentments among those who do not benefit and ultimately the general public tunes them and their proposals out of their consciousness. Again KISS.

My call to action is the following:

  • Maybe the UBI scenario is expensive but in the long run if it frees up the creativity of this country, re-starts investments and over the long haul creates net improvement (as has been demonstrated in the local models where it has been implemented), then let’s give it a try.
  • If some libertarians, some disgruntled members of the Tea Party, some of the right of center folks, some independents, some of the disaffected, disillusioned, apathetic Americans and some of the frustrated beneficiaries of our cumbersome social service system (and the exhausted administrators of those bureaucratic service delivery systems) could be brought on board thanks to a transition to UBI we might have quite an impressive coalition of odd-bedfellows.
  • If an expensive UBI system could move us out of the jungle of stalemate, distrust and animosity then maybe it might be worth every penny (and maybe it could be one of the catalysts that brings this nation together again).
  • As always, looking forward to your thoughts, observations and critiques.

Anything can be accomplished with ENOUGH !!!

It’s an odd title for a blog so here’s my explanation:

ENOUGH as used here means bringing to bear sufficient resources (i.e, money, manpower, equipment, whatever it takes) to accomplish the task at hand, usually this pertains to a challenge previously considered unsolvable or overwhelming.

Why am I thinking about this? Several reasons:

  • During Thanksgiving weekend, I was anxiously raking up my leaves one morning and it looked like I would not complete in time for the first snowfall. Then I was joined by my 3 sons and we completed the task before sunset. We got to talking about how long it would take to complete the task if 100 persons were issued a rake and we agreed that it could be done in 1 hour (2 hours max.)
  • I was listening to a commercial that mentioned an organization that reportedly solves problems previously considered unsolvable.
  • I was thinking about all the problems afflicting society (crime, education, housing, etc.) and thought that anything’s possible if only ENOUGH resources were brought to bear.
  • As a former mall cop from a family with many cop ancestors, I’m naturally interested in criminal justice matters. I can’t seem to get out of my head the fact that a nearby public housing complex reportedly has over 7 unsolved homicides. All those eyes and ears in a densely populated area and “nobody knows nothing”. One of my clients was recently murdered and I can’t stop thinking about how the homicide unit is so understaffed that a quick closure to this case (if it ever gets closed) is unlikely.
  • As a former manager of after school programs in a public housing authority until the Drug Elimination Grant funds dried up, I always wonder what more could have been done and how many lives could have been re-directed has there been sufficient and consistent resources.

The resources exist. We’re the country that won WW2. We’re the country that landed on the moon. We build the railway and interstate highway system. We got the covid vaccines up and running in short order. When we rake our lawn and shovel our driveways, we don’t do it only half way. So why are we overwhelmed when it comes to crime, education, housing, hunger (pick you favorite cause). It’s all about the will to apply the resources AND make some hard decisions about what NOT to fund. Might I suggest a couple fewer aircraft carriers and battleships since we already have plenty and it’s not a good idea to keep funding the LAST war (the future war will be of a cyber/bio variety).

So what’s the call to action? Select priorities, laser focus until the problem at hand is addressed, make the tough cuts, tough decisions about priorities and get it DUNN (sorry for the typo, it happens to be my last name).

Talking points for liberals and conservatives

What NOT to say and how to start a speech has become as important as the speech itself if you want to maintain open dialogue.

So here’s my advice to liberals:

  • Don’t get painted into the “weak on crime, big spender” corner.
  • Start every conversation (to greatest extent possible) making it clear that you are tough on crime (especially the violent stuff). Infuse your argument with the mantra of “taking responsibility for your actions” and requiring “consequences for your actions”. Personally, I have no problem kicking off conversations on this note since I believe it and recommend it for others as long as you make sure this “tough stance” is being applied to everyone no matter what their race, religion, ethnic origin, income status, etc.
  • Start every conversation with a focus on ROI (Return On Investment) and cost-benefit analysis emphasizing getting “the most bang for the buck”. Infuse every discussion with the importance of getting “results” for every dollar spent and make sure its clear that you are a zealot when it comes to preventing waste and mismanagement. As noted above concerning the “law and order” speeches, insist that implementation is conducted without any preferences concerning race, religion, income status, etc.
  • If what you are proposing can not be justified in terms of “dollars and cents” and you can not identify a direct line between the spending and the result, you may want to re-consider the proposal.

So here’s my advice to conservatives:

  • Start every conversation underscoring that everyone is entitled to the basics of life (food, clothing, shelter, basic medical care and safety). Make sure it’s clear that whatever you are proposing or discussing will NOT cause anyone to be cut from these basic needs. This will enable conservatives to escape from the corner that paints them as heartless, uncaring for the common person and sub-groups of society.
  • Start every conversation and infuse every discussion making it clear that your proposals are cost effective while also presenting no harm to anyone. Make sure it’s clear that focusing on “dollars and cents” and results is not being done at the expense of any particular person or group. If what you are proposing causes harm, you might want to reconsider it.

Now this new way of conversing may not overcome ALL polarizing stumbling blocks (especially those cultural/religious values topics) but it might get some conversational traction where it currently does not exist. As I make this proposal, I keep thinking of those conversations which never get off the ground because of initial “sound bites”. I also think of those conversations in which 2 people agree on all topics up to the point at which it becomes known that a “liberal” or a “conservative” is the proponent and we revert to being at logger heads.

Looking forward to any/all thoughts and further suggestions. Also looking forward to sharing this sense of collaboration, communication and tough-love no nonsense policies in my upcoming novel.