Filtering Politics Through a Golden Rule Lens

My path as a political futurist action-suspense writer would be far easier if I could tell you my tribe. If I could easily and consistently use words to describe myself like progressive, conservative, libertarian or socialist, I could quickly target my audience. If I could tell you I’m clearly aligned with the Republican, Democratic, Tea, Libertarian or Green parties, you would readily know what to expect of my views.

It would be easier.

But it wouldn’t be true.

Even if I did fix my political position today, that identification will likely shift as definitions and platforms change for political terms and parties, respectively. I may also simply change my mind on certain issues as I learn and think more, perhaps with your help.

Two core concepts that don’t consistently align with an entrenched philosophy or political party are foundational to my views:

  • My all-encompassing philosophy is the Golden Rule concept of “doing unto others as I would have done unto myself” and it’s negative form of “not doing to others what I would not want done to me.” Following the Golden Rule requires that I understand others, consider all impacted by any decision and imagine what I would want done if I were in similar circumstances. It also means thinking through long-term implications to eliminate my cognitive biases rather than rely on my immediate emotional response as a definitive answer.
  • The simpler of my core concepts is driving peaceful national longevity.  Governmental dissolutions can be peaceful, as one might expect if Scotland secedes from Great Britain. However, secession efforts frequently turn violent as we see today in Ukraine. Disorder and chaos create vacuums often filled with violent conflict. Conflict always finds innocent victims. There’s no opportunity to make amends to dead innocents.

The Golden Rule is embedded in the scriptures and teachings of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, Jainism, Taoism, Baha’i, native spiritualities, and many other faiths. The Golden Rule also happens to be endorsed by most secular humanists and atheists/agnostics as a core life principal. In fact, it’s a unifying principle across nearly all of humanity but one many think of as confined to governing personal behavior. Unfortunately, it is not embedded in the governing document for the United States. It is not required to be considered in developing our laws, regulations and enforcement.

Once we agree that we should treat each other fairly doesn’t mean we will always agree on what that means. After all, we each start with an individual experience and knowledge base. Seeing past our biases takes study, debate and an open mind. The Golden Rule, though, at least gives us a common objective to work toward and against which to ask questions without demonizing those beginning from a different answer.

After a month-long break from posting here, I’ll take a stab this week at testing my Golden Rule-based philosophy against several of the issues I expect to dominate media attention during the 2014 mid-term elections: political reform, income inequality, climate change and immigration. I won’t pretend my views are the definitive answer, only that they make sense given what I know.

Readers who define themselves along traditional partisan lines almost certainly won’t agree with everything I write. Hopefully, though, I’ll raise concepts you hadn’t considered, offer solutions not generally debated and otherwise leave you feeling that reading these perspectives is a good use of time.

My personal and author branding would be easier if I could pick a well-defined track that others have cleared in advance and just ride the rails to an audience. But I haven’t found a path that I can stay on without believing I’ve taken a wrong turn.

I’ll be interested in your reactions.

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