Sunday, February 1, 2009

Disappointing Dogmatism, It's not Leadership

I've been thinking about dogmatism and its negative impact. This thinking started with my disappointment with the dogmatism I saw on display in Congress this past week. In fact, it causes me to yell out "Dogmatism is not leadership!"

The newsworthy display of dogmatism was Congress and their notable actions on the crafting and vote for an economic stimulus plan. I saw dogmatism on both sides of the Congressional aisle.

First let's define what we are talking about. I appreciate the definition of dogmatism as defined by The Ism Book. It defined dogmatism as,
An approach to ideas that emphasizes rigid adherence to doctrine over rational and enlightened inquiry.
I felt that both Democrats and Republicans and their leadership in the House of Representatives were demonstrating dogmatism and not leadership in the past week. The Democrats demonstrated their dogmatism by presenting a stimulus plan that contained social measures and frankly pork in response to eight years of Republican handcuffs. The Republicans responded by their groupthink approach in not breaking ranks to offer a single vote for the plan. It is truly hard to believe that not one Republican Representative thought that the plan would not benefit their district.

In the end, I still think we should applaud the President's attempts to bring the sides together for "rational and enlightened inquiry", even if it takes a cocktail or Super Bowl party.

The country is clearly looking for a plan that can lead us out of our economic woes. I think that most citizens like me understand that the answers are not not clear, they are not definitive. There are multiple opinions and beliefs. The economists certainly don't agree.

I believe that the best stimulus approach will be found somewhere on middle ground. There will be some balance between ideas. For the stimulus plan it likely means some balance between tax cuts and spending.

However, more then ever, we should demand thoughtful discussion and inquiry on the part of our politicians. We don't need politics as usual. Dogmatism is not leadership.

Thanks for reading my rants about dogmatism. It is not leadership. Please lead quietly

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