Brian O’Shaughnessy of New Haven is a principal in the firm Community Impact Strategies Ltd. The mission of CIS is to facilitate the investment of public and private capital for the purpose of creating measureable improvements in human productivity and living conditions.
We sometimes forget that government and politics are two different functions. The connection — of course — is that if you win at politics, you get to govern.
Someone really smart — I forget who — observed that it takes different skills to gain power and to govern. This is very true. Historically, wars determined who ruled, and it is no different today. Gaining power requires an aggressive personality. Governing is more art than science. Equanimity is more important than blood lust.
As we enter the campaign season, we should be sensitive that the election process does not overly corrupt how we govern. Specifically, we should be sensitive to the competing versions of information.
Identifying one party as more virtuous than another is a complete waste of time. Both fight in the mud and get dirty. It is the election process that lacks integrity, and it bleeds into how we govern. The lack of “truthfulness” is destroying many civic values, primarily the belief in government. This will become painfully clear as the campaign unfolds and candidates “debate” the issues that will determine how we vote.