One of the perks of being a counselor is that I get paid to ask people the questions that most are afraid to ask.
One of the questions that I love to ask my clients is “What was your goal or what was the intended purpose of doing that?” It is a great question to ask because it gets at the root of someone’s intentions and exposes how their behavior or comments had no chance of accomplishing their stated goal or purpose.
I usually ask this question when I see one of my clients saying or doing something that not only gives them zero chance of getting what they want but actually makes the situation much worse.
Just watching the news this week, I couldn’t help but get the same feeling when listening to Democrats figure out how to respond to anything Trump did or how to handle division within their own party.
So, let’s put Nancy Pelosi on the couch first.
Nancy, what were you trying to accomplish by calling Donald Trump out in the news and saying that Kim Jong Un was the big winner of the North Korea nuclear talks? If you are trying to get North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons how does this comment help the process? If you are trying to govern and do what is best for America, how does calling Trump out in the news do anything but antagonize him and make him dig his heels even more? How does that comment do anything but serve to polarize Democrats and Republicans? How does saying America lost in this context accomplish anything positive?
Donald, you’re up next!
Mr. President, what are you trying to accomplish when you call Democrats sore losers? When you keep saying the fake news media is the enemy of the people, what is your goal? When you say that you are president to everyone and trying to make America great again, how does name calling help you accomplish that? When you make a statement that there are people in Congress who hate America, how does that help you develop a better relationship with Congress? Who benefits from this strategy?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, please take a seat.
Follow me for a moment while I try to figure out what your intentions are when you suggest that compromising with Republicans is a bad thing and that Democrats who do so should go “on the list.”
So, it’s a bad thing to compromise in Congress? What exactly is your plan to govern in a two-party system when you don’t compromise with the other side? Also, help me understand how you are going to get your Green New Deal passed without any compromise with Republicans while calling out your fellow moderate Democrats?
Democratic Party, the counselor will see you now.
Help me understand what you are trying to do when you banned Fox News from covering the Democratic primary debates? Can you lay out-step by step-how something like this will help reduce polarization? When you are privately calling out moderate Democrats who won in conservative districts for compromising with Republicans, how to do you think that is going to play out in those districts come election time in 2020?
So here is my point, America.
The whole purpose of a government is to do what is best for our nation and its citizens. Government is not there to do what is best for a politician’s career, party, or special interest groups.
Just looking at the above examples, can anyone safely say that these actions or comments do what is in the best interest of America? Do they make your opponent think and feel in a way that makes them more likely to work with you? If some of the barbs and accusations hurled by your fellow politicians were aimed at you, would it make you more or less likely to work with that person?
The answer to all of these questions is, clearly, no.
Little of what was said this week by our leaders serves the purpose of making people want to talk with each other and compromise. If anything, the only thing accomplished was further polarization of our Congress and our country.
I am beginning to think that polarization is exactly what all of these politicians want.
If that truly is what our leaders have in mind, perhaps it is time they seek help.
I’ll be happy to pass along the contact information of a number of good counselors in Washington DC.
I know that each has a couch with your name already on it.
If you enjoy Michael’s contributions to The Daily Centrist, you can read Michael’s op-eds at The Reporters and listen to Michael as the host of Gray Matters Radio Podcast on the Reporters Network & the Co-host of The Voice of The Radical Center on Talk 1370.