With the election distraction finally behind us, we can hopefully get back to the very challenging job of building a better world for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We will no doubt disagree about what “better” involves, but clearly things need to change.
I suggest we begin by remembering our “courtesies.” As children, we were taught to say please and thank you, to be respectful of others, and to be respectful of others’ opinions. Sadly, many of us did not model good behavior over this election cycle so there may be apologies required before we can make progress.
This starts with not demonizing those who disagree with us. It might be good for revving up a crowd at a political rally or a sporting event, but it is not helpful in reaching a consensus. The “my way or the highway” approach to negotiating ends up with lots of people wandering along neglected roads. It is extremely unlikely that everyone will agree on everything, but we can usually get everyone to agree to something. Isn’t half a loaf better than none?
I have blogged before about the need for infrastructure improvements. We are surrounded by crumbling bridges, potholed roads, outdated sewer systems, worn out transit systems, and obsolete water systems. Could we stop playing politics with these things and get to work fixing them?
College costs are a big concern. Our school system does not seem to work for everyone. Why not experiment to see what actually works? Reexamine what training is needed for what jobs and help people match ability to program to job. A world full of philosophy majors will starve to death; a world without philosophers is unlivable.
Certain fields have been allowed to restrict the entry of new competitors to their own benefits; is it time to look at other ways of delivering health care and justice?
It is a difficult and complex world out there; it is long past time for us start improving it.