Mining the Store is a business blog, not a political blog. But it seems that lately I’ve been writing about politics more often. Obviously the political situation, especially the economy and efforts to fix it, are crucially important to all of us trying to make a living.
We humans are complex creatures. We have differing views on a number of things, and to suggest that these views can be shoved into convenient boxes in our minds and only be brought out one at a time is just silly.
My views on politics affect the way I run my business. My religious faith (or lack thereof) affects the way I run my business and my political views. My love for my family affects everything I do.
So, while some might say that expressing political thoughts on a business blog is a sure way to alienate some readers, I would hope that we all look at one another as a combination of views and values and don’t let disagreement in one area affect our sharing of ideas in another.
Having made this lengthy disclaimer, I’d like to say that I’ve been very concerned for a long time about the way that we (that’s you and me) have given up our Constitutional rights. The government, made up of our elected representatives, the people we chose to represent our interests in Washington, D.C., and our various state and local government centers, has become a political machine operating on the principal that if something is popular, then it’s OK. This “government by popularity poll” has gotten us into the mess we’re in today, and doesn’t seem capable of getting us out of it.
[Sidebar: Some of you reside outside the United States. You may have the same discomfort level with your politicians as well. If not, congratulations! But I think the problem is universal enough to be of interest with most of our readers. If not, please bear with me.]
For a country that began with a rebellion against the powers-that-be, we’ve gotten awfully complacent. We’ve lost our trust in government, the financial markets, banking, the election process, and any number of other things that our grandparents trusted without question but there doesn’t seem to be any outrage. When King George did this stuff to us we went to war. What the heck happened and what can we do about it?
Political commentator Glen Beck has started something called “The 912 Project“. The premise is to restore the unity and the resolve we all felt on September 12, 2001, the day after the terrorist attacks. Remember? We were all Americans that day; not red states and blue states; not Democrats or Republicans. We’d been sucker-punched and we didn’t like it. We were willing to do anything to preserve and defend our country.
Obviously Beck is a conservative, and the 912 Project web site leans a bit to the right, but I wanted to call your attention to the 9 Principals and 12 Values that the site promotes. They should guide all Americans regardless of race, political persuasion, or anything elst that divides us.
I’m going to let you check out the site and evaluate it for yourself. But I believe the project is valid and valuable for all of us. The idea of getting together with your neighbors to discuss what’s happening in America (and the rest of the world) is valid regardless of your set of beliefs. In fact, if liberals and conservatives would sit around a kitchen table, drinking coffee and calmly sharing ideas, instead of yelling at one another, we might make huge strides in restoring the America where most of us grew up.
As entrepreneurs we have the greatest stake of all in the country and the economy. We can lead the way for our fellow citizens by getting involved locally in efforts to move the conversation forward. Check out the 912 project for yourself.
Forgive my excursion into the political arena. But it could be worse. Tomorrow there’s a 90% chance that this space will be taken up with a tribute to St. Paddy’s Day.
Have a great week!