Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Shock and awful ...

"But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event." So wrote Heather Richardson in the Dallas Morning News.

Who can disagree that the manner in which the president's executive order on immigration was put in place last weekend, was a shock?

It WAS a shock. To that extent I concur in Heather Richardson's opinion piece. However, I have no way of knowing whether it's motive was to shock people, or whether the author was the president's advisor Steve Bannon. Perhaps it makes no difference.

I also agree - to a limited extent - that the shock presents an opportunity. Not an opportunity for "threatening the people who sparked the event", but for collaborating with Congress and the White House to refine and explain the policy.

Ms. Richardson's piece provoked me to reflect more deeply on what is happening as a result of the order. As usual for almost a decade, the news media took sides and members of Congress retreated into opposing corners then came out fighting.

Isn't it time Congress functioned as a refiner of policy rather than an arena for mortal combat?

In my view Congress has failed too long to cooperate with one another and fulfill its constitutional role of advising and checking the president. All Members, House and Senate, Democrat and Republican, have a serious stake in maintaining the functionality of their respective chambers. Does Congress want to become as nonfunctional as the human appendix?

The prolonged dysfunction of Congress may at least partly explain the wracking chaos of the recent primaries, general election, and post election periods.

Both parties-all parties-are stakeholders in our constitutional republic. We still have the implements of a republic. Let's go back to using them so we can keep it!

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