Why you need to get involved in policy.
I don’t know why people see this as a radical stance. I don’t think it is. The inauguration is over. From the incoming president-elect and the outgoing president, I heard a similar message, and the message is the American people need to get involved in their governance.
They need to get involved in the decision-making that affects their lives. They need to get involved in policy.
I asked you, “When you look at this, is that a radical stance?”
I don’t think when the leaders say, “The American people need to be involved in politics,” that they’re talking about having you and your neighbors come into an election office or a campaign office and lick stamps, stuff envelopes, shuffle boxes around, and watch to see what the smartest person in the room does. I don’t think that’s what they’re saying.
What I hear from them every time is that we have problems. The leaders at the top don’t have all the answers.
This is not “father knows best” where the top senators and the top congressmen and the top think-tanks and the top lobbyists have all the answers. I think we’re well past that point, and I think the smartest people in the room recognize that.
I believe that they recognize that the dignity, intelligence and fact-finding of the American people are self-evident, but that the American people don’t believe it and therefore do not engage, number one.
Number two, they don’t engage because they don’t see a benefit, and they don’t think their voice is heard. Then, number three, they don’t do it because they don’t have a common platform to be able to make this happen.
I believe it is the role of the leader; it is the role of the government relations professional to take the hand of the uninitiated and begin to guide them down the path of how they can become involved. I think that’s what has to happen.
But I also think, along the way, there’s so many distractions, and there’s so many side paths that people fall into, and they seem like an easy way to go. What ends up happening, or what you end up seeing happen, is that people go down these long torturous paths, and they don’t get anything done, and they don’t know why.
If you don’t get involved in thinking, problem solving, and policymaking in your lifetime, I guarantee that, within the next 20 years, a robot will do the job for you. That robot or AI is going to have all the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, intelligence and data that it can muster from everywhere on the internet and come up with ideas that it thinks are best, and it will inform the leaders.
You may find yourself still in a position where you don’t like what comes up.
I think you need to take action, get involved in the process, pick a couple of issues that matter to you more than anything else, or pick one issue, focus on that and, in your spare time, begin to contribute to the dialogue, begin to join the conversation, begin to put your point of view out there so that you can begin to influence how your leaders approach a particular policy problem.
Senators, congressmen, assemblymen, presidents, they all say the same thing, again and again and again.
You hear it in their speeches. They say, “We want to hear from our constituents. We want to hear from the American people. We think the people have ideas. We want to hear what they have to say. We want them to have a seat at the table.”
The rest is really up to you.
Originally published at writealaw.com on July 31, 2017.