Are We At The Beginning Of The End, Or The Beginning Of The Beginning?

Things are rapidly changing in our world and that has far too many of us in a panic. Those that fear change think we are at the beginning of the end in almost anything. But those who embrace change think we just might be at the beginning of the beginning. That is what this post is all about.

I love the idea of paradigm shifts, but I don’t think it is limited to just scientific discovery. I think it has happened many times and in many areas during world history. At least for my definition these shifts tend to occur rapidly, historically speaking. Slow shifts are evolutionary, rapid shifts are paradigm changes.

  • In the area of religion and science the first major shift was when Galileo proved that the earth was not the center of the universe. Until that time religious documents almost universally deemed that the earth was the center of creation. It was heresy to say otherwise and Galileo suffered the consequences. In fact it wasn’t until the mid 1900s that the church finally admitted that he was right.
  • In medicine a paradigm shift occurred when Ignaz Semmelweis, an Austrian-Hungarian physician in the mid-1800s discovered that simply washing hands between patients could prevent many deaths in hospitals and operating theaters. The heart wrenching book entitled The Cry and the Covenant was about this story.
  • You could say that the American Revolution was a paradigm shift from monarchy to democracy. But we did pretty much copy our form of government from them and in fact the founders went out of their way to not mention the word “democracy” in the founding documents.

Let’s finally get to the main purpose of this post.

Although technology is presently in a paradigm shift, the same can’t be said for our governing processes. It is obvious to most of us that our government is broken. When our congress has a 20% approval rating but 97% of our representatives are re-elected, we do not have an informed electorate that is needed to keep a democracy alive. Too many people have lost faith and abandoned their responsibility of intelligently choosing our leaders. As a result, those most qualified to lead us into the future are sitting on the sidelines unwilling to get into the current stench of politics.

Our government is in crisis. We need bold ideas to fix it.

A major part of the problem is that our political parties have become too dictatorial with their members. They demand loyalty to party over doing what each representative thinks is the best for country. If a member should vote against party directives they risk losing power and power seems to be the primary reason that drives most of them that are currently there.

We need to change the fundamental allegiances of our representatives if we are to begin making the changes necessary to get us out of our current quandary. The primary way to quickly do that is to simply vote the “Ins” out.

If I believe what I am discovering, Millennials and those after them are about to do that in mass. 20% of this group say they are Republican and 35% Democrat. The rest defiantly claim to be without any party affiliation. Too many of this rebellious group see the damage that party allegiance has done to our country in the last 40 years or so and are ready to chuck the whole thing!

In closing, I’m going to make a prediction here and say that the coming national elections will be the beginning of the beginning of a new way of looking at how we are governed and quite possibly the initial steps toward the demise of one if not both current political parties. What replaces them is yet to be seen. Once we get through the cleanup period we can then begin to set up a government that is more attuned to the long term needs of our nation. Only then will we finally have an effective government for the challenges of the rapidly changing 21st century.

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