Call it a pure syrup of 100% political sap?
No, hmmm, today’s power of story fits the “flying” analogy better than the “food” analogy.
Leonard Pitts Jr’s version of this fear-of-flying story:
So polarized has our leadership become that it is incapable of seeing in any dimension beyond the political. When attempted mass murder is seen as an “opportunity” on the one side and a signal to circle the wagons on the other, one can only conclude that for some, partisanship literally matters more than life itself.
I know what you’re thinking and for the record, yes: I did indeed make this same argument — repeatedly — when Democrats tried to use 9/11 to damage George W. Bush.
I renew it now with an urgency. Too often, our leaders cannot work for the greater good because they acknowledge no good greater than politics. But if that’s truly our prime directive and highest imperative, God help us all.
I’ve written analytically about the Logic of Failure in complex institutions and systems including air travel, after 9/11 but before the Christmas Day Underwear Terrorist:
This morning I see a right answer in the news, real analysis and insight for all those of us who puzzle over public school policy (and party politics, religious wars, et cetera) and just can’t understand why we keep doing all the wrong things wronger, regressing rather than progressing:
Schooling is like flying.
The whole story is about how aggressive and insulated data analysts crunch endless numbers to create operational models that are statistically attractive but unfit for human consumption, thereby infuriating regular, responsible people just trying to participate in the system in good faith.
I’ve also written to jolly folks into a little flexibility and imagination and resilience in public policy, including dress codes and even airplane underwear! — you know, the Daniel Pink whole new mind with drive but not driven kind, power of story from which unregulated, unlegislated true human progress can spring, the kind that demands partisan politics must loosen up, wise up and grow up all at the same time:
My practical proposal doesn’t force anyone to do anything nor deprive anyone of anything, nor does it discriminate in illegitimate fashion. (Fashion – that word keeps coming up!) It doesn’t depend on demonizing either common objects or innocent people, nor must it wait to develop new science and technology. In other words, no metal detectors; lie detectors; curbside inspections; civil liberty intrusions like body cavity searches, racial profiling and personal data mining; explosive-sniffing dogs, financial or spectrum analysis.
It is at once spontaneous, light-hearted and scientifically proven as a simple and effective way to separate Islamic terrorists from the tourists and business travelers of the free world. . . let those cheerfully wearing a pair of panties on their heads pass through without even slowing down.
But our nation’s leadership has taken the Logic of Failure so far in its own systems and institutions of governance, that they now seem unable to help themselves, much less any of us. So we the people have accommodated ourselves to mindless miseries as everything just gets worse and worse:
“In other words, we’re stuck with the current system, because it isn’t really in any[one’s] interest to try to change it.”
Happy New Year? Harumph!