The Great Debate UK

Never waste a good crisis

The events in Washington over the last couple of weeks have shown two things: how a system of checks and balances government can be extremely frustrating and get nothing done, and how the Republican Party is in desperate need of a major change.

The guiding principle of the U.S. Constitution is to never allow any individual or party to get too much power. The ideal is to have a President and Congress at odds with each other so that one ideology is not given a preferential position.  Thus, what we have seen over the last few weeks in Capitol Hill is, in essence, exactly what the Founding Fathers orchestrated back in the late 18th century.

That’s the history lesson out of the way – what about today? Even with a checks and balances system, society and the economy need to be able to trust that the U.S. government can be effective and won’t shut down just because some men and women in Congress are lacking in key negotiating skills. The events since the start of this month have shown that this is sadly not possible with the U.S. political establishment in its current form, and one side is being blamed much more than the other for the current deadlock: the Republican Party.

It has taken a dramatic shift to the right in the last 5 years, far more than the Democrats have shifted to the left, and the number of moderates in the U.S. Congress has dramatically declined. This is also evident in the drop in bipartisan bills, which have experienced a sharp decline in recent years. In this environment, the extreme right is drowning out the moderate element in the Republican Party who may want to negotiate with their counterparts the other side of the political aisle.

from The Great Debate:

WikiLeaks and the psychology of leaking

The following is a guest post by Kerry Sulkowicz, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who is the managing principal of Boswell Group LLC. He advises business and political leaders on the dynamics of authority and governance, leadership transitions, and psychological due diligence. The opinions expressed are his own.

With the publication last week of WikiLeaks’ trove of classified documents on the Afghanistan war, the focus has been on the devastating picture they provide of the war. But a critical piece of the puzzle is not being addressed: what are the motivations of the leakers?

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