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Get’R Done

Picture of Larry the Cable Guy

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Over the approximately 20 year’s experience of sitting on boards, I have decided that the act of governing is a nasty business. Most boards are composed of what I call the 4 Ds—dreamers, doers, doubters, and downers. Each individual group, if gone unchecked, can cause ruin for the organization, but with each working together and compromising, I find a workable solution always appears.

I have served every position on boards except treasurer (I’m a words person not a numbers person) from president to non-voting advisor. I have also served on various types of boards from church boards to professional organizations to non-profit organizations. The board is elected by the general membership to run the daily business of the organization (from maintaining the physical plant and staff to paying bills) to charting the future and setting goals for the organization.

 Many times while sitting at a board table I have pictured the organization as a boat with rowers on both sides—the dreamers and doers on one side and the doubters and downers on the other. In order for the boat to move ahead each side must work hard applying equal energy so the boat moves forward in a straight line. I am always amazed watching debates on the boards as each side energetically argues its position until someone in the middle suggests a compromise that encompasses both views.

This is true democracy in action where people come together and speak freely until a solution is found. Ideally, our federal government is an extension of this metaphor only on a grander scale. I must admit I am not the first to come up with this metaphor as Plato wrote about it and so did Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his immortal poem “O Ship of State” but my views aren’t as grandiose as Plato and Longfellow because I see the working mechanics where they were talking about the state itself.

This form of governing has worked well for thousands of years until now. Now we have a new party in our governmental mix known as the Tea Party. Don’t get me wrong, I have been in favor of a third party for years to break up the gridlock in Washington but I was hoping that third party would be composed of intelligent people who would listen to both the Democrats and Republicans and be the ones to work out a compromise between the two. However, it seems what we have is a bunch of not-so-intelligent people determined to hold their own line in the sand and not bend either way. In other words, we have a road block that only complicates the gridlock in Washington. I admire people who stand on principle and I have done so many times, myself, even to the detriment of me or my reputation. However, I have never done so when it meant the total collapse or downfall of the organization I was representing. Something each elected representative should keep in mind is he or she is there for the good of the whole. The Tea Party has not acted responsibly for the good of the whole nation. They have brought us to the brink of collapse standing on principle of a few regardless of what is good for the nation. There always comes a time in a debate where both sides need to recognize the merits of the opposing view and work to find a middle meeting point. As much as I dislike certain elements of both the Democrats and Republicans they have always eventually compromised, shook hands, and continued to the next problem like civilized citizens. I’m afraid I can’t say the same for the roadblock in the middle called the Tea Party.

While serving on both professional and non-profit boards there was always a certain professionalism that pervaded the atmosphere with unspoken rules in effect where each recognized the importance of the work we had to do. Everyone also recognized that a business does not operate the same as a family unit and a business or organizational budget and financial responsibilities were not exactly the same as a family budget. Serving on a church board that is composed of professionals, homemakers, entrepreneurs, laborers, and both educated and uneducated has always been a challenge because not everyone has the business background needed for running an organization. During one intense debate over the church’s budget a woman with no business experience was resisting paying the staff and couldn’t understand why we needed to pay a choir director. She asked why someone in the choir couldn’t stand in front and wave his arms. Others felt that all staff members including the minister, secretary, custodian, etc. should serve on a volunteer basis. Still others didn’t understand that electric and gas bills needed to be paid. Some never understood the concept of “the cost of doing business”.

I fear people with this same mentality are making up the Tea Party. They are so far behind in basic knowledge of how government operates and what is expected of them that they are holding up progress. They are feeling empowered from their limited success in the last election and are boldly taking advantage of that power. This is a democracy and everyone has the right to be heard. They have been heard but now it is time to either become a player or step aside so the business of governing can continue. We sent our representatives to Washington to do a job so, in the words of Larry the Cable Guy, “Get-r-done!”

 

 

 

 

 
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11 Comments  comments 

11 Responses

  1. John Fleming

    You blame the Tea Party for this so-called gridlock in Washington. It has been the irresponsible free spending liberals who have taken us to the brink. Yes and George Bush did not do us any favors either. The Tea Party is made up of citizens whom are sick and tired of big inflated government. You speak of them in a condescending matter as if they are of little intelligence. Let me say as a very well educated person with a wealth of private and corporate executive experience that this country will fall in less than 20 years with the compromising career politicians we have in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. Most have never had to make a payroll. Our president never had a real job in his life. These are the kind of people you want to compromise with smoke and mirrors illusory agreements. I would suggest you go back and read the Federalist Papers and gain an appreciation of the strength and character of the Founders of this great nation. Yes there were compromises, but based on principles not on personal self-interest and expediency. What you got from this “compromise” is a more serious problem down the road. Not one of them except the Tea Party was willing to tackle the real problem of cutting spending by looking at everything including Medicare and Social Security. Much of the current spending and debt problem could have been solved by repealing Obama Care. The future costs of this program will sink us. Are you proud of the way this piece of legislation was handled by “compromise” or a better word “extortion” and the secret back room deals? “We the People” need to recapture our government from the career politicians and political hacks. We can learn something from the Tea Party if you make an effort to understand what they are trying to do to save our country, God Bless America or to borrow a phrase from Great Britain “GOD SAVE OUR COUNTRY”.

  2. Ed Patton from the Y

    on “Git er done”
    The people used the Constitution to form our government as a Constitutional Republic; not a Democracy. Accordingly, the Constitution is not the source of rights; rather, it is the source through which the people grant government the limited authority necessary to govern the government as it interfaces with other governments. Beyond the authority to legally resolve trespasses, the Constitution provides no provisions for governing the people and explicitly limits government from trespassing on rights that were not specifically granted to the government in the Constitution.

    just sayin

    Ed

    • Thank you to both Ed and John for your comments. It is only through open debates that real solutions can be found. However, at this time I can not agree with you in following a band of rebels who have brought this country to its knees. They are playing a dangerous game when they bring our economy to the brink of collapse. True, both the Democrats and Republicans have had a hand in creating the economic mess we are in but it is irresponsible to hold a nation hostage with a deadline looming.

      It is good to stand on principle, to a point; but compromise is always needed to break a gridlock. Ideally, a good compromise takes the best from all sides and then proceeds forward. After a compromise neither side is happy or unhappy for each has lost some and gained some but, hopefully, both can shake hands and continue to work together. As I said in my piece, the act of governing is a nasty business and if one side takes total control then the ship will only go in circles and not a straight line. We have had enough circles and gridlocks in the past and it is now time to go forward.

  3. John Fleming

    As you can see this was an illusory compromise. We lost our AAA Credit Rating. Your “Band of Rebels” had nothing to do with that. It was weak and irresponsible government. Yes, it is time to go forward and in 2012 let one side take control. It is a pivotal moment for our great nation. Either let the elitist liberals do their total transformation into a Euro-socialist society or let the “Band of Rebels” try to reconstruct the damage that has occurred over the last few years. Look at the definition of compromise as it has devolved out of the Obama regime. His only concept of compromise is to agree with his destructive economic and social policies. Our current state of affairs is beyond compromise. This is not a board room of some non-profit organization.We are in a real life disaster. If we are to lead the world again we need new leadership who will have the moral strength to take on entitlements and cut expenses, retire our debt and live within our means.

    That’s what we have to do to survive. The government is not some super ruler above us. It is We the People. Taxes must be shared by all. Currently 51% of the people here do not pay any taxes. That has to change. That is real shared sacrifice, not Obama’s definition that the wealthy must pay more taxes. We all must share in this effort to stabilize the country’s economic future. Higher taxes on any one group are not the solution. It is wider distribution of the tax burden, cutting our voracious spending and restructuring our out-of-control entitlement programs. This will not be a comfortable or easy transition for anyone. But it must be done and that won’t happen with the type of mix we now have in Washington. Compromise is not the answer. It’s too late for that.

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  5. I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

  6. Are there any sites similar to yours that you would suggest? I’m interested in creating a website that pulls within the posts from a bunch of associated websites like yours.

    • Not that I know of. As far as I know I’m a one of a kind. I do my research and write about topics that interest me and I think my readers will enjoy or should know about. I always add links to my research whenever possible so my readers will know that I can back up my statements. Guess that is the old reporter and/or English teacher coming out in me. Good luck on your site. If you would like a guest blogger let me know.

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© © Copyright 2012 Sheila Dobbie, Gahanna, Ohio
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