Great article! Honesty gets my vote.

I’m a retired engineer who has designed and managed computers and companies. I have learned that trade-offs (compromises, working across the aisle) are essential to sustainable manufactured, living, or social systems. I have found that winner-take-all extremists wave false flags of correct answers and ideal solutions to entice gullible followers. Moderates, their opposites, as pointed out by Eric Hoffer in The True Believer, respectfully negotiate with others to produce realistic and more sustainable results that benefit most people and foster continued social cohesiveness.

My Congressman is Jimmy Panetta, a Democrat. He works across the aisle whenever possible. When I asked about arrows in his back, he smiled: “yes, most of them are from people in my Party.”

I have learned that there are four ways to make and implement a decision: Might makes right, majority rules, consensus, and unanimity. Consensus solutions, the most sustainable, require negotiated trade-offs based on mutual respect.

I lived in Bend from 2006-2014. I recall an Indian-led movement producing successful redistribution of Deschutes River water rights through consensus. A recent book, The Dawn of Everything, includes persuasive evidence that Jefferson’s ideas about a government of the people, which he got from the French, were introduced to the French by an American Indian!

You attended one of my Bend lectures for OLLI. Afterward, you politely (and accurately) suggested that I should get to the point sooner. I’ve been working on that ever since.

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Sep 26, 2022Liked by Cylvia Hayes

I think for all of us used to the political world we grew up in...basically anyone older than about 12...it's an enduring habit to say "both sides do this thing that I am here to complain about." And it's a habit we need to break. We need to accept and acknowledge that the two sides are not the same -- 1, Democrats, who are trying to figure out how to maintain democracy and not destroy the planet, and 2, whatever the Republicans have become, who are undermining democracy and apparently don't care about the planet at all because they think it's just a pit-stop on their way to an all-white heaven (I guess, it's hard to tell what the motivations over there really are.) I agree with your title, that trade-off is not a bad word. But I think that we need to fiercely accept it's truth. This administration passed the most sweeping and comprehensive climate bill any country has passed, let alone our historically climate-dening country, and true, it doesn't have everything everyone wants, but it's a big important step and trade-offs aren't inherently bad. They're how stuff actually gets done. It's never wrong to have wishes and hopes and goals for how perfect things might one day be, but I think at this precarious moment in our history, the work we need to be doing right now is not wish that the elected officials and candidates (who are doing the most they can do in our flawed system to literally save the planet) should set aside their practical goals and intentions and behave as though they are in a beautiful dream democracy, and not the complicated messy one we have now. The work we need to be doing at this precarious moment in our history is to inspire more faith and energy among voters, to motivate people to make those trade-offs, to vote against those who will drive us right over the cliff and for those who will at least keep us on the road for now, even if we don't love all of their positions on everything.

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Sep 23, 2022Liked by Cylvia Hayes

YES! I do want candidates and politicians who are brave enough to tell the truth about our challenges and the need to work on REAL solutions. Cammie B.

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