Friday, December 24, 2010

“Why Would A Reasonable, Rational and Otherwise Decent People Do That?”

In my opinion, the statement I used as a title for this blog comes from one of the most practical books ever written.  It explains why I endorse the movement No Labels with the slogan - Not Left. Not Right. Forward.NL_Home-flag_jpg_358x238_q85_crop

As a parent, an executive, a teacher, a politician or any other role, there is no one book more useful in my opinion than Crucial Confrontations.

I was still noodling what No Labels is all about when I came across the video of a panel discussion which includes Durham native David Gergen, a Harvard professor and columnist for whom I have great respect and who served as an advisor to five US Presidents both Democrat and Republican.

At at the same time  I was reading a excellent study out of the University of Maryland “Misinformation and the 2010 Election – A Study of the US Electorate”  published on December 10th.  Some publications reviewing the study quickly noted the finding that viewers of Fox News were the most misinformed.

Press reports don’t do the study justice and it is a quick read, well done and very enlightening.  Read it for yourself.  The question is, however, “why would reasonable, rational and otherwise decent people” appear to deliberately misinform their viewers?”

It would be easy to tell ourselves a story but that won’t solve anything.

Easier as an Independent I signed the No Labels Declaration, or maybe I should say especially as an Independent.  It may be coincidence but I felt great relief after the No Labels launch to see members of both parties in Congress seemingly move toward the “center” in putting the finishing touches on what many in the news note will surely go down as one of the most productive sessions in history.

There may be a lot of “sabre-wrestling” during the coming session but I hope No Labels fulfills its potential and that it is truly possible to motivate people without making them angry or by demonizing one side of a discussion or the other.

It will be important no matter how crazy the hyperbole may become; that we remember to ask ourselves the question in the title of this blog.

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