The United States Senate calls themselves the world's “Greatest Deliberative Body.”
Unfortunately, that's no longer the case. And I'm afraid it hasn't been for some time.
The legislative part of our government is supposed to be the great engine of our Republic. That part which proposes the new laws and regulations that will rule our people.
In theory this occurs through a process of open debate, where the two sides of any issue are brought to the forefront, and after a through discussion the members vote on what they determine to be the best solutions.
All this is reminiscent of the great debates that helped create the nation's founding documents: the Declaration of Independence and the Consitution. Think of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin among others rising to make their point. It was high drama, as well as profound lawmaking.
It was the stuff out of which our country was made.
But when was the last time you saw two Senators or Congressmen square off, in an honest forthright debate with one another? If you're like me, you don't recall.
Today, most of our legislation is written by lobbyists on “K” Street, and debate is shunned like the plague.
In the now immortal words of Speaker of The House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," The complete opposite from the vision of the founders.
And it's this unwillingness to air out both sides of the issues facing this nation, that is really starting to impact our future.
This is true for the three most important decisions that collectively we must now make.
The first of these is the Federal Government's Budget. Last evening President Trump signed into law the latest Appropriations Bill. As we've discussed before this was NOT a Budget. But was simply the Authorization, by Congress to permit the various Federal Government Agencies to spend.
It's like looking at only the expenditure side of an Income Statement, with no regard for the revenue side. And it's a dirty trick.
A trick that allows Congress to speak only of what they're giving the population, and never about what it costs.This is the type of thing that happens without debate.
But it's not the only crisis we face, that suffers from the lack of debate, the omission of the other side of the argument.The same type of thing is occurring right now in any discussion of the Pandemic's LockDown.
I see little to no discussion of the economic impact, of the economic lockdown that we are subject to. No discussion of the small businesses which are now closed, their employees out of work.Only one side of this debate is permitted.
Finally, we see this lack of debate, the inability to see both sides of the coin, in the latest election results. Although there appears to be credible evidence that irregularities have occurred in the election process, we are not discussing that possibility.
I cannot imagine managing any organization, without taking into consideration both sides of the picture. In business we always ask: what happens if things go well?, AND Also what happens if they don't?
Planning requires that type of analysis. What's the cost/benefit? what are the future ramifications? what if there were a fraud?
These are everyday questions, that CEO's must tackle constantly.
And yet, somehow we've come to believe that we don't need to do that in the political process.
That like a bolt from the blue, out political leaders are instantly endowed with just the perfect solution to any of our ills.
Nothing could be further from the truth. And I fear what this will mean to our future.
Bring back real debate to the halls of Congress.