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Mon Jun 13, 2022, 03:59 PM

The power of positive thinking meets the rule of law.

The January 6th hearings today illustrates for me again why it was always a terrible idea to elect a businessman to run the country "like a business".

There's a cult in corporate management culture which glorifies imagining a goal and then not letting anything get in the way of achieving that goal, certainly not facts. If you can dream it, you can do it. And that's exactly what Trump was doing - what his background trained him to do.

The self-evident problem is that facts are facts and the law is the law. And good government is usually about determining the least bad course of action on the basis of the best facts that can be mustered within the constraints of law and due process.

While Trump is his own whole self-contained bag of snakes, I think he also manifests a dangerous American cultural trend that prioritizes "vision" over living in a fact based reality.

Being good at government takes a lifetime of study and experience. We need to fight back harder against sneering attacks on the professionalism of the civil service and of career public servants.

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Reply The power of positive thinking meets the rule of law. (Original post)
meadowlander Jun 2022 OP
TygrBright Jun 2022 #1
meadowlander Jun 2022 #3
tblue37 Jun 2022 #2
meadowlander Jun 2022 #4
mitch96 Jun 2022 #5

Response to meadowlander (Original post)

Mon Jun 13, 2022, 04:24 PM

1. THIS. So many times, this.

The whole point of organizing your government based on the rule of law is to ensure high levels of competence, continuity, and stability.

The eternal problem faced in crafting an agreement about the rules we're all going to live by is how to keep those who would benefit only some (or one) from taking control at the expense of everyone else.

Keeping in mind that NO structure yet imagined or invented can ensure complete equity, how do you nevertheless maximize equity in the larger context over longer time horizons?

The rule of law, rather than the rule of either "A Brilliant Leader" or "The Hereditary Entitled" or even "Leaders As Much Like Me As Possible", is the only way yet invented that even comes close.

It is simple to set up, but incredibly difficult to maintain:

1. Find consensus about what matters to the greatest number of those who will live under this system - the 'values' of the government.
2. Create a backbone legal structure or document that codifies those values at the highest level (in our case, a Constitution).
3. Create a code of laws that operationalize that structure and the values represented.
4. Create a mechanism to maintain and update #s 2 and 3, that is consistent with #1 (most efficient to include this in #2 - as is the case in our Constitution.)

No matter how carefully this is undertaken, those who will wish to steer the rules in the direction of "more benefit to me and people like me at the cost of benefits to people who don't matter/are not like me" will always be working to subvert the system to their ends.

In order to make it work over the long haul, a system like this is absolutely dependent on the maintenance of consensus for #1, and competence and dedication in carrying out #3 and #4.

In order to maintain that consensus and nurture that competence and dedication, the polity must ensure the ongoing communication of those values, and the education and reward for those who serve it selflessly.

And that is where we are failing massively.

sadly,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 13, 2022, 06:02 PM

3. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response.

I think we get too wrapped up in Trump-specific personality issues and don't always look out to the wider societal issues that enabled someone like him to get elected in the first place.

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Response to meadowlander (Original post)

Mon Jun 13, 2022, 05:05 PM

2. Fred Trump was a devoted believer in Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking,"

and he trained Donald in it as well, even taking him to hear Peale speak.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 13, 2022, 06:04 PM

4. That doesn't surprise me at all.

This kind of stuff is all over the motivational speaker industry - particular the Anthony Robbins-types.

I'm sitting here listening to the hearings and imagining the line of people trying to get Trump to see past his vision to reality.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 13, 2022, 06:44 PM

5. +1 when I read " The power of positive thinking" I thought Peale and TFG and the church...

You can just see it in TFG'S whole rhetoric. Early indoctrination I guess...
m

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