In merger settings, it becomes apparent the employees who are doing more politicking to keep their jobs. Their focus is beating the competition from the merger partner, that some will play themselves up while putting others down. In these settings, as a manager and consultant who led teams helping the merged entity, I would find myself saying “worry more about doing your job than keeping your job.”
This is an ideal metaphor for elected officials. The issues become unimportant, except for how they are marginalized into talking points that can be won or lost. Governance is thrown out the window. Solving problems are thrown out the window. It is far more important to grease the skids to remain in office or get elected. Elected officials worry more about keeping their job than doing their job. And, we are the ones who suffer.
More often than not, unimportant issues are discussed to win a political gotcha game. It is a true zero sum game, where I must win and you must lose. In a day when neither of the major political parties own all of the best ideas and, in some cases, have only poor ones, to say the other side is always wrong, is just plain inaccurate. To say that your side is always right, is even more inaccurate.
So, let me state an admonition of our elected officials. Stop worrying about keeping your job and do your job. At the end of this month, the Department of Transportation trust fund will run out of money, again. It is St. Patrick’s Day and have you read much about our Congress doing something about this? It has been extended through smoke and mirrors for a few months, but we must do something material. Right now, our infrastructure is in need of great repair. Right now, interest rates are low, so it is an ideal time to borrow money to improve our assets. Right now, we would benefit from jobs that would be created by acting.
Yet, our Congress will not act. They would rather talk about gotcha politics that solve nothing with the intent to embarrass the other side. Folks, it is time to do your job. You owe it to the American people. If you choose not to act, I would beseech you to relinquish your position, as you are providing head winds to any progress we must make.