I have to believe that many of us are fed up with the election ads, with the sound bites, and the venom from both sides. I know that I am. Like many of you, I have made up my mind already. For me, it now is a straight-forward decision — one that cannot be overturned any longer: just because one candidate or another were to say something new, parse his words differently, hire a new wordsmith, it has all already been said.
The Republican Party that I grew up embracing has lost its path. The morality and ethics of the Republican candidates for the White House, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, are so anathema, to my concerns for a sustainable America and my Judeo-Christian upbringing that, in good conscience, I could not vote for this so-called Republican ticket of pretenders — under any circumstance. In fact, I am of the opinion that Wisconsin, now that we know the root cause of Ryan's political philosophy, should reject him twice.
That said, we all know that, on nearly a daily basis, both sides will try to find one word on which the "swing vote" might hinge. The new word we are told by Republican pundits to ponder is "re-distribute." My first suggestion: Turn off Fox, MSNBC, and CNN. You know the truth and it will not be said on TV or by political rabble-rousers.
Tea Party radicals and capitalists who believe that there is no such thing as immoral, or too much, profit and who rally round the flag of the 1786-ers now do have a word with which to cry "foul," however. Of course that word is "re-distribute."
In truth, though, we all know that President Barack Obama is not encouraging a scenario under which anyone would be able to dip into someone else's bank account, stock portfolio, or piggy bank. First that quote, or sound bite, is a decade old; and, as with so many "sound bites" taken out of context (unlike Romney's remarks and the lies pouring forth from the mouth of Ryan) it should be disregarded or put into context. The president is talking about the good. America's good. We Americans have destroyed the social contract on which this nation was borne. America needs to have a revitalized social contract, one that is inclusive of all and designed to help co-create a sustainable future. We need a social contract based upon Aristotelian and Pauline principles. So, rather than, or at least before, attacking the President, why don't we severally, or individually, try to unpack the word "re-distribute" and then try to understand the challenge inherent in the word.
My approach is to suggest that each of you stop using calculative thinking and instead employ meditative thinking, as you each unpack the word for yourselves. To get you started, however, let me ask a question, or two. First, is there such a thing as too much profit? Is morally responsible to lay off thousands of workers so that the total profit goes up — and the owners can buy another house, or another SUV or another yacht? What about sending jobs off-shore? In America, we used to pay $15 to $25 an hour for jobs that no longer exist here. If 2 million such jobs in America were moved to India or another off-shore environment where their standard of living needed $6 to $12 an hour, what is the morality of that decision? What happened to those 2 million workers? Is it morally correct and to be encouraged, if one employee is paid $850,000 while others inside the same company or firm cannot support their families with what is paid to them?
Or, if you were the president of a company with 4,200 employees what should your greatest concerns be? For whom are you responsible? After the textbook answer of "profit" or "profitability," I suggest that the answer is "your employees." In fact that was a lesson I learned in the 80s when I had my first opportunity to deal directly with a CEO. Frank Jones, then CEO of G&L, told me that his NO. 1 responsibility and the NO. 1 responsibility for all leaders is the welfare and care of his employees and their families. That is not the way of Romney/Ryan. In fact, they would have let the auto industry collapse; they would have let the housing market sink further; and banks, well Romney and Ryan don't believe in regulating banks. (Instead these "Republicans" would swoop in and cash in on any and all windfall profits, caring not at all for who they hurt - it is the Bain way, after all).
Like many of you, I believe this election is vital: perhaps it is the most vital and critical election in the past 100 years. What is it that we are voting for? Are we not voting for America's Democratic republic? Are we not voting to build a sustainable future — for all?
For all: America is an inclusive nation, not an exclusionary one. Let's keep it that way. America is battling to become a sustainable society. In order to co-create a sustainable future, one characterized by the ability for all to flourish, we cannot elect anyone like Romney or Ryan, since they would exclude 47 percent of the population.
The message I keep seeing, and which these Republican pretenders have emphasized with their gaffs is: "Stay the course: re-elect Obama."