Monday, April 12, 2010

Towards a New Paradigm, Part 3

(This is the third article in a three-part series.)
In the first article in this series, I showed the need for liberals, conservatives, libertarians, and non-aligned voters to cooperate on a single congressional election strategy: Vote for virtue above ideology. I also explained the difficulty of bringing about this fragile alliance, as the four groups don’t communicate with one another, don’t trust one another, and can see uneven advantages to following this strategy.
In the second article in this series, I described a game changer that could possibly bring about this alliance. In the same article, I brought up another objection: Even if the fragile alliance can be caused to see the advantages of following the strategy, there’s always an element of doubt. Even if “we” see the virtue of the idea, how can we be sure that “they” also see it; and, even if “they” did, how can we be sure that “they” won’t take advantage of “our” trust to grab what “they” can?
Clearly, the behavior of each group will depend on what each group thinks that members of the other groups are thinking and will do. It’s a mixed-outcome, mutual dependence game. (The alternative is the zero-sum, conflict game we’d been playing, resulting in incremental losses for everyone with each election.)
I said that some kind of confidence-building measure (CBM) was needed as a “signal” from each group that they wouldn’t stab the other three groups in the back. As a rule, any signal—however unreasonable it may sound—will suffice if there’s no other, or better, signal given.
We’ve all heard the adages, “Actions speak louder than words,” and, “One picture is worth a thousand words.” I’m also reminded from a journalism class I took long ago that an event is news if it’s 1.) current, 2.) local, and 3.) visually striking. The signal I’m suggesting is one that involves action, and it involves striking imagery—striking enough to cover the world.
What if, this November 2, voters all over America knew that the whole world was interested in whether Americans will place virtue above ideology? What if people from such states as Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, and China came to observe America’s elections to see, among other things, whether Americans really understood what it means to “take their country back”?
In that event, we’re talking about more than just getting American liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to send signals to each other. We’re now talking about millions of people all over the world taking an interest in whether Americans have what it takes to put virtue—and their country—above politics.
I’ve learned that millions of people in other countries really are interested in how America is governed, and for compelling reasons. American policies, be they economic, political, military, or humanitarian, have a direct bearing on the lives of billions of people throughout the world.
As such, the whole world has a vested interest in the question of whether American voters will place virtue above politics this November 2. All we really lack is millions of Americans and tens of millions of people in other countries to demonstrate their concerns at the same time of the evening, according to their time zones, beginning, say, at 8:00 PM New Zealand Time on November 1, progressing form time zone to time zone, and ending (24 or 25 hours later) a few minutes after 9:00 PM Hawaii Time on November 1. Participants can do it individually or in groups. Prayer vigils or other events can take anywhere from a few minutes to one hour. The more the merrier.
I’m asking the world to pray—publicly or privately—that American voters will place virtue above politics and vote for the betterment of Congress, America, and the world. I’m asking the people of the United States and the world, regardless of politics, nationality, or religion, to spend an hour at a time standing together, lighting a candle (or something else that glows), singing together, and let our light shine throughout the world.
Long ago, I was taught that the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel because we’re not in a tunnel. The darkness is in our hearts; but, as the song says, “If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be!”
Prayer changes things, especially if we’re willing to be changed ourselves.


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