General Dempsey Speaks Of Inclusion
As the nation becomes more politically polarized, let’s talk about inclusion.
I recently read a book entitled, Radical Inclusion. It’s written by General Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Ori Brafman, a New York Times best selling author. The focus of the book is on principles of leadership, as put forth by General Dempsey. The principles, while formulated in the thick of war, cross into other realms and have much to teach for business and governance and politics.
The demands of inclusion, from Dempsey’s military point-of-view, means that everyone must be heard, everyone must be listened to. He notes how he learned valuable lessons from those in the lower ranks and how strategic it was to open lines of communication up and down the military hierarchy.
Inclusion Means We Need Each Other
I’m probably a lot like you. And, just as likely, we’re different. Like you, I have thoughts and feelings about our current political climate and, like you; my values are tested as I watch the daily news. I’m sure; too, that you and I will differ on at least some aspects of what is right for the country and what is not. You and I are human and we see the world through the lens of our different experiences, our different lessons taught, and our different expectations.
The book points out that for any sound judgments and decision to be made, more information and a wider range of perspectives are needed than ever before. Our world is changing. We live in a digital age and contexts and complexities reveal nothing is as simple as it once was. To weather such chaos, we need each other.
Inclusion Is Needed To Elect Our President
How we elect our nation’s president demands that every voting citizen be heard. The demand for inclusion means every vote must count!
Now is not the time to continue to limit the Electoral College. Instead, we need to unshackle the system and allow it to function as our Founding Fathers intended. From the start they intended for inclusion to play a key role in our voting system. The original intent was for every citizen’s vote to count. And, the original intent was for every state to matter.
You and I may differ in our perspectives. How we view the world and our judgments of how best to govern our country may not totally align with each other. But I earnestly believe that your vote should count as much as does mine, and vice versa. This is especially true when we, as a nation, come together to elect our president. We do not exercise nor enjoy this kind of freedom of voice today.
2ndLeadership Principle: Make It Matter
The second leadership principle General Dempsey points out is; “Make it matter!” His prompting is that a leader needs to make sure decisions and actions have positive consequences. It’s a good prompt for the rest of us as we consider our votes.
Two considerations should be kept in mind:
- Our voting should be based on sound information. Today’s news world is a swirl of data and perspectives that need to be considered from a multiple angles. All of us need to consider values and perspectives espoused by those with other political views.
- Our voting should be based on our best judgments of what’s best for the country, not merely what’s good for our personal benefit. That demands a bit of vision and creativity on our part to project what will probably happen years beyond this moment.
Neither of these considerations is easy. Nobody has a magical crystal ball that foretells the future. None of us are immune from our own personal bias and limits of insight.
Inclusion Is A Gift
However, we do have one great gift of inclusion: We have each other!
Whenever we limit, or try to limit, the voice of those who do not agree with us, we manage to limit our own futures. We need all voices to weigh in and be heard. We need all votes to count! It is especially more vital that this be our truth in times of political turmoil and strife.
As the National Review noted in it’s “The Week” section states:
After one of the nastiest elections in American history, Thomas Jefferson, the winner, said that without “harmony and affection, . . . liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.” Stay sane, people.
The need for national civil discourse has probably never been greater. Let us all, indeed, remain sane.
Equal Voice Voting Requires Inclusion
Equal Voice Voting is a simple mechanism. It removes the winner-takes-all restraint (See A Cancer Is Attacking Our Presidential Elections) from our Electoral College. Every popular vote is counted as the electoral process elicits a result born out of this democratic sense of inclusion.
Adhering to Dempsey’s second principle, the choice to employ Equal Voice Voting makes our presidential voting process matter. It matters because it is inclusive. Such inclusion expands the number of votes counted (almost doubling the total) and encourages a greater voter turnout.
Inclusion is a key leadership concept. It is also a gift given by our Founding Fathers over two centuries ago. Let’s not waste it.