No Demonizing. I have met numerous members of Congress and many unelected federal officials who I sincerely believe are thoughtful, passionate public servants. Many of them really do have an authentic desire and intention to serve their country. And to their credit, they wake up every day and see the dysfunction in government and do their best with the tools and skills available to them to make a meaningful, positive impact for their constituents. So nothing published in my books or throughout this website should be construed as demonizing any particular elected official or federal employee.
No Gotcha Games. Given the sensitivity and complexity of the issues discussed throughout this website, a gentle reminder about our purpose is in order: I’ve consciously avoided playing any “gotcha games” in my articles by choosing to not disclose the intimate details of specific politicians who I know to be substantially involved in unethical political or business practices. My books, articles, and website are not about individuals and their vices. To the contrary, my writing is about economic and political systems and how these systems either nurture or destroy the value creation and distribution processes in a society and how distorted political and financial incentives in these systems impact the American people.
Stop the Political Violence. In some cases, a systemic political or economic problem can only be effectively conveyed by describing a particularly egregious transaction between a particular politician and a particular special interest group, corporation, or individual. In most cases of bad behavior, I refer to these entities by their political title or general industry category, not their specific personal or corporate name. This is to protect their identities, their egos, their families, and their privacy, which will usually make them more receptive to our nonpartisan message.
Names Matter Less than Position Because Position Power Distorts Behavior. News sources, books, and other publicly available materials often include the names of people and organizations. In these cases, the information is already in the public domain; so including their names in my books and articles does not significantly diminish their privacy beyond previous disclosures. Nevertheless, I usually resist the temptation to gratuitously drop names because their names don’t really matter. What really matters is the position they occupy when they engage in bad behavior. If the rules governing their position create distorted political and financial incentives, then every person’s behavior in that position will inevitably become distorted, too, no matter how righteous and saintly they may have been in the past.
Make Reconciliation and Redemption Easy. We must resist the temptation to descend into petty political clan warfare and gotcha journalism. We must be steadfastly focused on core principles and sustainable systemic solutions, not the daily soap opera of personal politics. No person or organization will ever make an enduring impact by following the herd off the political and economic cliff. As citizens and advocates for sustainable reform, we can make a meaningful difference only if we illuminate the less traveled path and make it easy to navigate for all Americans, including the most egregious perpetrators of special interest corruption. Let’s make it easy for those people on the dark side to see a viable alternative path to political reconciliation and redemption. Some of them will. Some will not. Either way, the purpose of The Platform remains the same.
Avoiding Destructive Revenge Politics. If we personally and directly attack every politician and organization who engages in the kind of special interest corruption that The Platform is designed to eliminate, we would be instigating a personal attack on their character, their livelihoods, their personal and family identities, among other personal attributes. That would trigger highly emotional, defensive and vengeful responses in most cases, which would not be productive for anybody with a sincere interest in restoring trust in American Democracy and Capitalism.
Timeless Principles. My articles, books and this website are intended to explore timeless principles, not perishable political soap operas. People live and die; they come and go through the many revolving doors of every political system, but their legacies remain long after they’re gone. We’re all still living with the toxic legacies of elected and unelected federal officials whose names we’ll never know, but whose lives were guided or misguided by principles that still directly impact us today. For every dysfunctional system or corrupt human behavior that we explore together, my books and articles present concrete, actionable, systemic solutions to substantially eliminate those dysfunctions, regardless of whose legacy may be responsible for them. That’s the purpose of my writing, just in case you ever hear any partisan political operatives trying to demonize or discredit me.
The Constraints of Nonpartisan Political Platforms. Managing a truly nonpartisan platform creates some practical constraints on the tone and style of the materials we can publish. For example, we must be sensitive to the appearance of bias more than a partisan political organization. We also need to approach cases of political corruption more diplomatically than many investigative gotcha journalists and partisan groups. Although this approach may not always incite the same level of emotional outrage that many advocacy groups often elicit from their constituents, the spirit and intent of The Platform is to heal ideological divisions and unite all sincere Americans in a common mission.
The Key to Long-Term, Sustainable Renewal and Reform. To accomplish the mission of The Platform, we must seek to engage all Americans as authentically, fairly and justly as possible. Even if we don’t agree with somebody’s politics or past behaviors, our tone and communications style should reflect our authentic purpose and nonpartisan spirit. Every citizen in a Democratic society should be given a genuine opportunity to change their minds and behavior when they’re presented with new information and new opportunities to make better decisions. The Platform is intended to achieve political and economic renewal and meaningful, long-term legislative reform. Without authentic grace, empathy, and forgiveness, there will never be authentic, sustainable renewal or reform.