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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #1
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The Fundamental Flaw of American Politics

The Fundamental Flaw of American Politics

There is something fundamentally wrong with the American process of electing a president. Itís that the candidates are running on platforms and espousing solutions that they know little about. And then we, the people, are voting on those ideas when we too know little about them.

Even if our candidates were Einsteinís, even an Einstein is an expert only in his chosen field, such as physics. Heís not an expert in economics; heís not an expert in social development; heís not an expert in immigration.

Why are we electing people who are running on a platform they are not experts at? And why does the entire country listen to their ideas and vote whether their good or not, when we neither are experts?

If you run a business and you are going to develop a new product, or you need to find a solution to a particular problem, you go out and you hire the best brains in that field. You then put them in a laboratory where they experiment, where they try many solutions, until they see what works. And then only do you implement it and build your business upon it.

We are not doing that. Rather, we are swayed by a charismatic person who has a good sounding idea that they can speak persuasively about. The ideas sound good; but theyíre not necessarily the best ideas. They havenít been tried it in the laboratory of experience. And then weíre electing that candidate and their idea and immediately committing our national course of action to it. This is wrong. This is flawed. This is a recipe for mistakes on a colossal scale.

What we need to do is instead of electing a president based on a platform, we need to elect a president who says, ďI will elicit the best minds of the country. I will draw upon the brainpool, the immense intelligence thatís there in the American people, to find the best ideas. Then, I will find a way of experimentation, a laboratory of trial and error, to try these ideas. And only then will we commit the nation to themĒ.

This is a fundamentally different approach to the American presidency and to leadership in general. Now the American president is not the leader touting a platform. Rather they are an executive managing resources, finding brainpower and creating experimentation. Then, when solutions emerge and are proven, they become an executive in the fullest sense of that word, meaning they execute upon the direction that has been chosen. They manage it, they implement it, they build it, but they donít come up with it on their own.

We need to tap the brainpower of the American people. We need to find a mechanism of communication and dialogue where the best ideas rise to the top. And even the experts donít always have the right answers. Sometimes the best ideas come out of left field, from unexpected sources; from the young guy in the mailroom who seems to know nothing but has a fresh perspective, has an insight.

We need to elicit the experts, and we need to elicit more; we need to elicit the creative intelligence and spirit of the American people far and wide, educated and uneducated, experienced and inexperienced. And even wider, we may need to tap, we should tap, the brainpower of the world, for many of our problems have effects and causes that are worldwide. Many of ďourĒ problems, such as the immigration problem, have their roots in other countries. We need to look for solutions there too.

And then we need to experiment upon these ideas in relative zones of safety to see if the solutions really work. Only then we should act. What we are doing now in electing a president is not only dangerous, but itís stupid. We have all bought in to a collective decision making process that is flawed, that is wrong, and is recipe for making wrong decisions.

Lets wake up from this illusion. Lets get smart. Lets use the smarts of the entire nation. Great things are possible when we all put our heads together.

Kabir Jaffe


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