Tell them what they want to hear. Satisfy their most basic immediate needs. Touch the emotions they feel the most. Fulfill their most basic and fundamental ideals.
Do this, and you will be elected every time. That seems to be the recipe.
On Nov. 2, a good portion of Democrats seem to have lost the faith of the people to lead the country. It seems the backlash, two years after the change mandate won the country's favor, has disappeared. Or, if it hasn't, then it is largely on its way out. It appears change has not delivered what the people want.
It might be what they need, it might be what is in the long-term best interest of the country, but it is no longer what they want. They want the good old days back. Get me back into my house, my job, my car, my credit rating, my life. No one seems to care about the consequences.
What went so wrong so fast? Did anything actually go wrong?
Can you imagine if companies ran this way? If a slate of corporate executives stood for re-election every two years? Can you imagine? What would the communication look like coming from the C-suite in election years? What would the rhetoric sound like in highly profitable years versus the rhetoric during highly challenging years?
I think it's a good thing corporations have slightly more patience, or at least fewer public elections.
BEYOND THE SHORT TERM
Wouldn't we benefit as a country if we hired executives not based on who simply presented themselves in the best light? Wouldn't it be better if we hired someone with a professional track record? Maybe we could hire the president of Switzerland for a few years, let him or her run the country for a while. His record seems good lately. Or perhaps we could lend Argentina our leader for a year or two? Maybe he could enlighten the Argentines on how we like to run things up here north of the Rio Grande. Wouldn't you give leaders a little more respect and credibility if you knew they had run a successful country somewhere else? I think so.
Instead, we hire individuals with no real track record or experience, expect them to run a multitrillion-dollar country and not make any mistakes. We're watching and we're expecting big things, and we want them now!
The people voted for change and President Obama truly undertook some aggressive projects: ObamaCare; MiddleEastCare; EconomyCare; just to name a few. Two years into his term the electorate is already showing signs of disenchantment with the results. What did we expect in two years--instantaneous results?
You can't change the direction of a mammoth oil tanker in an instant, and you can't change the course of a country in only two years. If every mandate has to validate itself so often, how is any substantial restructuring going to endure to manifest true change?
What we need is a disciplined, patient electorate that wants real, tangible change, for long-term sustainable, success, profitability, or life. Nothing easy comes quickly; nothing worthwhile comes without effort or waiting for just a bit.
JOANNA MAKOMASKI, the former risk manager for an energy delivery company, is a specialist in innovative enterprise risk management methods and implementation techniques with V3 Advisory Group.
December 1, 2010
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