Sunday, March 15, 2009

Welcome & Why 4-D politics?

I have spent a long time watching our government and listening to political arguments (oops, sorry, discussions :) ). It often seems that both sides are just trying to win, instead of genuinely find the best solution for most people. This is complicated by the fact that in US politics they are sides, which I think limits the ideas proponents of those sides are willing to entertain.

Thanks to some special people in my life, I have had the opportunity to become familiar with some different personality type systems (DiSC and Myers-Briggs), values systems (the Stanford VALS - Values and Lifestyle Survey), and thinking styles (Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument - HBDI). In each of these "typing" systems, there are 4 main styles or qualities (yes, even Myers-Briggs is an expansion/interaction of 4 main components). Most people tend to prefer some, or one, of these styles over the others, and that is where differences in opinion arise. I believe that is is possible to come to compromises with which everyone can be content IF we look at each problem from each section of a system.

In theory, the US Consitution set our government up in such a way that this would happen naturally. However, some problems have come up:

1) our political system has become so polarized that only 2 sides of any issue are usually proposed. Life is not two-dimensional, but our political system has become so. Thus, we miss many of the best solutions.

2) Because of the polarized political system, people are afraid to vote for third parties because "the other guy" (with whom the voter disagrees most) might win.

3) Only certain types of people tend to get into politics at all, so we are already lacking in government the complete spectrum of personalities, values, and thinking styles present in the general population.

4) Only certain types of people tend to work in government agencies. In general, burocrats are strict rule-followers, which is important. It does not allow for any flexibility in upholding the intent of laws, though, only following the letter of the law.

So, that is the general approach I intend to take in discussing ideas and issues in these posts.

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