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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wanted: Candidates (and Voters!) with Balance

“Balance” is in short supply in politics today. Why is balance so important?

Most of us respect those people whose “body of work” shows a consistent pattern of balanced thinking and judgment over the long term. Is that not what we all look for in our friends, our children, or colleagues or our boss? When one has strong balance - that certain centeredness - we all know it. We gain comfort and confidence from their great inner strength, their wisdom, their balance.

Those are the people who we should elect to higher office today. They may not be heroes. They may not be famous. They may not be photogenic. They may not glad-hand well. They may even disagree on some of the important issues I believe in. But, they have my vote.

When we elect wrong people to positions of trust, we begin sliding down that slippery slope to a general state of imbalance in our system of governing, and in the general order of things. This is exactly where America finds itself today. It can get from bad to much worse rather quickly. Failed campaigns, failed careers, and failed institutions lie in the scrap heap of imbalance, led there by the narcissists, the fanatics, and the greedy.

It is easy to blame the Other Side for the problems we find in American government and politics today. Such thinking is shallow, lacking courageous self-reflection. You see, we’re all to blame. Blame our leaders on both sides, who relied on strategic imbalance from the start (e.g., one side wins all; collaboration as spineless; listening, for the weak; “they deserve it!”). Blame the citizens who supported such winner-take-all governing. Blame citizens to the far right and far left who have been for too long hoodwinked by imbalanced self-interests who prey on strongly held beliefs, applying their litmus tests, sound bites and cults of personality to trump balanced approaches to problem solving that bring results, not gridlock.

And, blame those of us who have stood silent (me included), the true American majority, those somewhat left and somewhat right of center who stay away from the fringe. We’ve watched, bewildered, from the sidelines, while the two fringes, hopelessly split, lead us all down a dreadful path.

This great problem of gridlock wrought by imbalanced thinking will not fix itself. The American middle needs to come together as one, across party lines, demanding balance. If we are able to come together as one, those good and balanced elected representatives in Washington D.C. who remain, or who are newly elected in 2012, will find that they can in fact courageously lead from the center, supported by more voters from the middle than either fringe can muster. That is the key to reestablishing our voice.

Precisely that will cure what ails America, bringing with it many rewards: renewed consumer confidence and reduced market uncertainty leading to a bullish investment climate; and job growth, leading to increased revenue and short, medium and long-term debt reduction. And, the American engine of progress for all will be restarted.

The future of America is up to its middle majority! We need candidates and voters with balance. Find them. Be one. Be courageous. Please stand up and be heard! If we do not bring about this change, there will be only one person to blame. Download our booklet and find your voice at