Own It

If we want to solve problems, we have to admit our mistakes

I think a lot of the problems in our country, with our dominant set of values, and with our culture is this idea that something must either be without flaws or it is without value.

We have a very hard time telling the truth about ourselves, our families, our culture, and our national history. Why can’t we see the problems and failings as opportunities to improve? Why can’t we accept that we have made and will continue to make colossal errors, but do our best to right the wrongs when we understand that we’ve screwed up?

Our current values turn denial and delusion into the preferred way of dealing with problems—no wonder we rarely solve any of our real issues.

One of the bravest things someone can do is to say: “I’ve really messed up, I’ve hurt you, and I’m so sorry. I’m going to do my best to change so it doesn’t happen again.”

How I would fix Congress

Assuming I have magical powers

  1. We change Congress to a more Euro-style legislative body with many, many parties. This way any fringe parties can win their 1-4 seats, speak their lunacy, and have almost no real power. Also, this would mean no single-party majorities unless that party was extremely popular. So most of the time, by necessity, the people elected will actually have to compromise and negotiate.
  2. Elected officials who take special interest money must not only disclose all contributions, but they must wear advertisements for those special interests on their clothing like a NASCAR driver.
  3. 2 consecutive term limits for all elected officials. You can run again after sitting out a term, but you only get 2 terms consecutively.
  4. Performance-based incentives for things like passing a balanced budget, passing bills with a low pork index (independently calculated), and reaching certain productivity metrics (also independently calculated)
  5. If you run for another office, you must resign your current elected position