Stolen Elections and more…..
On October 31, also known as Halloween night, the radio program Voice of the Voters airing on Philadelphia based radio station WNJC1360 AM, and hosted by the Coalition for Voting Integrity Co-founder, Mary Ann Gould had as its primary guest Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Dr. Kanter is a noted author, Harvard University academic and expert in the process of change with credentials too vast to do justice to in a short article.
Her newest book, “America the Principled” contains HOW TO information on the implementation of change within a system. Mary Ann asked of Dr. Kanter what she thought were the reasons that America is troubled on so many fronts. Dr. Kanter has a view that this moment in time represents “Americas Winter of Discontent”. She attributes much of America’s abysmal psychological state to the aftereffects of the Dot.Com failures of the late nineties, followed by 9/11 and the pursuit chasing down terrorists. Add to the circumstance the growing awareness that the earth has flattened out and that China and India are dynamic social and economic entities that threaten America’s preeminence, all contribute to a sense of confusion within the American population.
However, Dr. Kanter believes that the winter of discontent can be changed into a summer of content. It was at this part of the program that she began to outline the problems that need addressing. She and I are absolutely on the same page in the belief that America’s leaders lack vision(s). At the end of virtually any political speech or debate, it is difficult to walk away with a sense of message, because it is about each candidate attacking the other, and defending from attacks. America needs leaders that have a clear goal oriented vision for the future. Dr. Kanter suggests that a JFK style of leadership where an inspirational mission is made a priority (moon shot) could do wonders for the moral of America. The lack of vision and failure of leadership are the primary contributory reasons as to why Americans have lost respect for government.
Her thinking is that it is vital that we return to an open society where each voice shares with the other their ideas, needs, and complaints. Much like the old Commons that existed in many New England towns, where people would gather as community, Dr. Kanter believes that a new interest in attending and participating in town meetings is both a practical and inspirational way to promote change within our disconnected society. Mary Ann Gould put it this way, “When the leaders fail to lead and inspire, it is up to We the People”. Dr. Canter made the observation that the modern equivalent to the commons is the ocean side beach. The implication being that, since people are already gathered, and since there seems to be an air of mutual trust amongst beach goers (an example of how people feel comfortable leaving valuables by their beach blanket while going into the water) why not take advantage of the gathering.
However, as Dr. Kanter observes, as Americans separate into antagonistic, ideological camps (our tendency to micro manage everyone else’s responsibilities and interests) we struggle to find common grounds and the sense of community that once made “one nation” the strongest country on earth. The lesson should be that when we DO gather at the commons that part of our mission should be to find common grounds so as to not draw and quarter our efforts.
The discussion also covered fundamental observations about life, where Dr. Kanter firmly believes that the individual American family has devolved, and changed via a mechanism that is unlike her tools for change. “People are wrapped up in work to the point where family has become of secondary importance” said Kanter. “The purpose of making a living is to make a life” was one of Dr. Kanters observations that make perfect sense. She then went on to explain that creating change within a system “is a journey, not a destination”. Thus, as accomplishing any goal, if the journey is one that brings about satisfaction, then attaining the goal is the icing on the cake. Make the process of change a rewarding journey.
Following Dr. Kanter was a conversation with author Steve Freeman ensued discussing the threats to individual Americans rights as imposed by the existing administration. Having listened to the interview between Mary Ann and Dr. Kanter, Freeman noted that, “It is important to not underestimate the laundry list of problems that confronts American society while attempting change”.
Freeman is very concerned about voting integrity, and has authored a book, “Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count, in which he outlines the many irregularities associated with President George Bush’s second term victory.
He went on to echo what we all know and fear, in that the media is no longer the “Guardian of Society” with essentially nine conglomerates holding the reins to the nations public information sources. He noted that while it is an encouraging trend in that Americans are waking up to the reality that information is selectively disseminated by media providers and that 40% of the American people believe that the 2004 election was stolen.
Depressing, but realistic was his assessment of the 2008 election in that it will likely be susceptible to the same mechanisms of theft as the previous Presidential election. He was also grounded in his observation that Hillary Clinton’s victory in the 2008 election would not represent a significant change in America policies.
Closing the show was Paul Lehto who was a solid cheerleader for the presentation of Dr. Kanter, and encouraged that Americans, and those seeking to become such, should read the Declaration of Independence to gain an understanding of the reasons and values of elections.I could not have put it better myself.