“People aren’t logical they’re psychological, often with the emphasis on the psycho.” – Howard Rankin
As most of the world criticizes Vladimir Putin for his shameful actions in Ukraine, there’s an ironic and even an alarming lesson in the judgment of his actions. In some ways we all share something in common with the Russian ruler.
Human beings are not rational but story-tellers, driven byemotional comfort and consistency. Because of this dynamic, people very often don’t change their minds especially over opinions and actions in which they are heavily invested. This applies to everyone, regardless of whether their ideas are rooted in good or evil.
We know that human beings use all manner of mechanisms, especially cognitive biases to justify their beliefs and actions. We see what we want to see, ignore what we want to ignore. We seek out the similar views of others, whose supportive ideas give “social proof” and validation to our own beliefs. In my upcoming book, Falling to Grace: The Art and Science of Redemption I write about the seven laws of stupidity, from binary thinking to conspiracy theories, that really drive our thought process.
This social proof is even more advanced amongst leaders, who can surround themselves and authorize people who share their same views. Every autocratic leader, therefore, can insulate themselves way more than the average person from the challenge of alternative perspectives. In addition, this egotistical state is even more prevalent in people with power and fame, in what’s called “situational narcissism”. Their fame and power colors their views of themselves and can elevate them in their own minds to a god-like status.
Most of us find it very difficult to change our religious perspectives, political views, or even which NFL team we support. We hold on to them with a rigid, and sometimes angry certainty. The three most important words in any language are seldom used, “I don’t know.” And three other words one rarely hears are even more important: “I was wrong.”
If we have such a hard time changing our perspectives and opinions, consider the chances that an autocratic leader who sees himself as the savior of his people, will ever change his mind in any way, let alone reverse course. And when such a leader has surrounded himself with teams of people who share the same opinion, can we really expect confrontation to change any of the minds of the inner circle? Indeed, the more they are confronted, the more they are likely to defend their beliefs.
Ironically, the way Putin could restore his credibility and even respect around the world would be to effectively say those three words: I was wrong, or something close to that, like “I made a miscalculation” or “I really thought we would be welcomed by most Ukrainians.” Of course, politicians and pretty much everyone with a big ego hardly ever admit their human faults and errors. Not admitting your mistakes is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
People hardly ever admit to being wrong: pride often gets in the way. I have found, from my personal experiences of being cast into shame, humiliation and disgrace, that admitting your errors and sins is one of the most powerful things you could ever do. That is one piece of advice that I give in my upcoming book Falling to Grace: The Art and Science of Redemption
So, if you are thinking that Putin and his cronies are going to change their minds about Ukraine or anything else, you are almost certainly indulging in an exercise of your own wishful thinking.
Humans Aren’t Logical, They’re Psychological Often with the Emphasis on the Psycho. From my book Power Talk: The Art of Effective Communication
In my book I Think Therefore I Am Wrong: A Guide to Bias, Fake News, Political Correctness and the Future of Mankind I discuss the default setting of the mind and list many biases that influence our decision-making. Some of these are very relevant to the crisis we face today and especially decisions about how and when to open up the economy.
One problem is that we are used to binary thinking, and consider things as either/or alternatives when things aren’t black and white but different shades of grey. So, the choice isn’t really between the economy or public health, because those are not independent factors. This means that a “return” to “normalcy” will require a graded resumption of “normality” with both factors being weighed.
As patience runs out, emotions will rule, potentially ruining the chances of balancing two goals with seemingly opposite outcomes. The fact is that humans aren’t very good at this.
Here are some key biases that are in play in this discussion and decision-making.
Bias blind spot. This refers to the tendency to see oneself as less biased than others, or to identify more cognitive biases in other people. We all do that!
Default effect. The tendency to favor the default, more conservative choice. Depending on your perspective, that would be opening up the economy asap, or keeping measures in place for months.
Exaggerated expectation. The tendency to expect overly extreme outcomes. This could easily factor into both “sides” of the argument and be used to shorten or prolong existing public health measures.
Focusing effect. Exaggerating the importance of one aspect of an event. This again is likely to be practiced by those on the extreme of the arguments, e.g. we should completely open up the economy now, or stay completely locked down for the foreseeable future.
Framing effect. Being influenced by how information is presented. So, for example, some will argue that we should follow Sweden’s example of keeping the economy open because they have done very well, while disregarding the fact that their current death rate is much higher than ours.
Hindsight bias. This is the tendency to look back at past events and seeing them as predictable at the time they occurred. This has been happening for while with numerous agencies either praising or criticizing the government and the President for his actions.
Hyperbolic discounting. This is the tendency for people to prefer immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs. This is an issue across the board, but it certainly speaks to the impatience of those who want to “return to normal”.
Illusion of control. This is the overestimation of one’s influence over external events. How much control do we actually have over events? There are all sorts of unforeseen scenarios that could make the situation worse. Horrendous weather conditions, a new virus, etc., etc.
Illusion of validity. This is the tendency to believe that our judgments are accurate, despite inconsistent or unavailable information. The data about the virus has been inconsistent and incomplete. We should at least recognize the limitations of our thinking and factor that into decision-making.
Illusion of Correlation. That just because two things happen around the same time, they are somehow causally related. This is critical aspect of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. And there have been several of these going around, not least of which is that the novel coronavirus is somehow a function of 5G networks.
Illusory truth effect. Believing that a statement is true when it is easier to understand, or if it has been stated many times, independent of its validity. So, some people might believe the 5G notion because they have seen it stated several times.
The Sunk Cost Fallacy. When we justify putting more money (or any resources) into a project based on what has already been spent rather that a rational analysis of the probability of success. This could mean providing more money as an economic stimulus even as it appears it isn’t worth it. Or continuing with an economic shutdown because that’s what we have been doing all along.
Neglect of probability. Disregarding probability when making a decision that is complicated. There is a tendency to assume probabilities are facts when they are not. So, we should ask what are the probabilities for both positive and negative outcomes for all considered measures.
Normalcy bias. The refusal to accurately consider planning for, or reacting to, a seriously negative event that has never happened before. We already have the assumption that we will “get back to normal”. But it is likely several things will change and all of the “normal” might not return.
Optimism bias. The tendency to overestimate pleasing outcomes. We won’t know outcomes until they have been tried. Of course, we want to believe that our decisions will have great pay-offs, but you won’t know until you try and you should have a contingency plan in case you are too optimistic.
Pessimism bias. The tendency to overestimate negative outcomes. See above.
Planning fallacy. The tendency to underestimate the time it takes to complete a task. This is relevant in this crisis. How long will it really take to “open up the economy” or completely vanquish the virus?
Present bias. The tendency to favor current rather than future payoffs. So, for example, we should get the economy back on its feet because the lack of money seems more pressing and present than the threat of dying.
Pro-innovation bias. An unverified optimism about an invention or innovation’s value simply because it is new, while failing to recognize its limitations and weaknesses. Are some of these new proposed drugs and tests are as good as we think they are, or are we blinded by their promise rather than their effects?
Projection bias. The tendency to assume our future selves will share our current preferences, thoughts and values. We can’t predict the future or assume that we will think the same way in the future.
Reactance. Doing the opposite of what someone asks you to do on the rationalization that you don’t want to be seen as having your freedom of choice constrained. We have seen many examples of this during the lockdown, as people refuse to social distance and quarantine rationalized as rights infringements.
Reactive devaluation. Discrediting proposals simply because you think they were devised by an adversary. This is particularly relevant and highly damaging in the political arena and is the danger of partisan politics
Regressive bias. The exaggeration of high values and probabilities, and the minimizing of low values and probabilities. So, hypothetically the experts might say, if we open up the economy now, there’s a 60% chance that the virus won’t be a health problem. Sounds like a good plan but it probably sounds better than it is, because there’s still a 40% chance the virus will still create major problems.
Naïve realism. The belief that we see reality as it really is. We are objective and the facts are obvious and those that disagree are obviously uninformed, lazy, irrational and certainly biased. Clearly, we see that happening already.
And of course, there’s the ubiquitous Conformation Bias that we all employ to see the information that supports our views and ignore, minimize and attack the information that doesn’t.
The answer is to recognize the limitations, make the best informed decisions we can and prepare for all eventualities.
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” – Confucius
For updated information and discussion please visit the IntualityAI Youtube channel and latest video:
Perception is Reality is one of the most misleading, and
potentially damaging, pop psychology myths.
The problem centers around the word “reality’.
The definition of the word reality: something that is real
or a fact.
So, there can’t be an individual reality, only a
shared consensus about what is real. There can be individual versions of
reality but that’s not reality, merely a version of it. And if everyone had
their own versions of reality, then there can be no reality.
The problem with the notion of Perception is Reality is that
it encourages people to think that their perceptions reflect reality, or
should. This leads people into believing that whatever they think is real, and
from there, to right. It encourages an egotism that is most damaging to the
person, who eventually will become
angry, frustrated and depressed when others don’t share their
“reality”. Of course we all
have our own perceptions, opinions, beliefs, etc., but we can’t have our own reality.
The fact is perception is perception, there’s no such thing
as your “reality”. If something is just real to you, then it’s not real,
just a perception.
This cognitive relativism is a damaging philosophy that
seems more and more common.
From my book I Think Therefore I Am Wrong
“Similarly, there is cognitive relativism which also
argues that there isn’t an overarching “truth” but that it, too, is constructed
and relative to a variety of factors, like culture and even human
Protagoras, a famous philosopher who lived about 2500 years ago, asserted
that “man is the measure of all things — of things that are, that they
are, and of things that are not, that they are not.” In other words, truth
and knowledge are a function of human beings and human variables and don’t
reflect any independent and objective reality.
Plato objected that this relativism eliminates the distinction between truth
and falsehood; if each individual is really the “measure of what is”
then each person would be infallible.
An excellent article by Emrys Westacott, summarizes these debates about
knowledge and reality. Professor Westacott is the author of many works
including The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More – More or Less.
“Plato argued that if Protagoras is right, then whatever a person thinks is
true, is true. But in that case, Protagoras must concede that those who think
relativism is false are correct. So, if Protagorean relativism is true, it must
also be false.”
That Plato was one smart guy.”
The notion that perception is reality is a damaging myth and
we need to stop perpetuating it.
There are many reasons to be grateful on Thanksgiving, but
Hilton Head Island residents Howard and MJ Rankin have an extra reason this
year. On Tuesday, Howard bravely dived into action to prevent a major disaster at
“My wife has been telling me for several years that our dryer vents needed cleaning,
but I never really took it seriously. It was just an example of the Spouse
Communication Bias, the tendency to undervalue what your spouse tells you. I
didn’t think it was necessary,” says Rankin, who appropriately is the author of
the recently acclaimed book I Think Therefore I Am Wrong and the
podcast How Not To Think.
However, when someone at the Assisted Living facility where his mother-in-law lived told Rankin about the real danger, he listened. After doing some research he discovered that blocked dryer vents are one of the leading causes of house fires.
A piece on the Building Performance Institute says:
“According to the National Fire Protection Association,
nearly 17,000 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. These clothes
dryer fires cause around 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property
loss. Unsurprisingly, the leading cause of these fires, at 34%, is the failure
to clean dryer vents.”
On Tuesday, Howard jumped dramatically into action. He quickly
picked up the phone early in the morning and called Advent, a multi-state vent
cleaning company that has offices in the Low Country, and arranged for the
vents to be cleaned.
After Advent had cleaned the dryer vent, the Rankins were shown the evidence of a massively blocked dryer vent that even included remnants of a bird’s nest.
“We were very lucky. If I hadn’t acted so fast, we were
looking at real trouble,” says Rankin.
His wife MJ agrees. “It only took him seven years, but better
late then never.”
A blockage in the dryer vent not only increases the risk of
fire, but decreases the efficiency and life of your dryer.
‘The service was great and I’m sure we will regain the
modest outlay back in extended dryer life and reduced energy bills,” says
Rankin. “I’m just thankful I acted so quickly.”
It was announced today that Cambridge University had revoked the offer of a visiting fellowship of Canadian psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson, an outspoken critic of political correctness. Peterson was to spend two months at Cambridge working with their faculty of Divinity this fall.
As quoted on the BBC website
spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that Jordan Peterson requested a
visiting fellowship, and an initial offer has been rescinded after a further
an inclusive environment and we expect all our staff and visitors to uphold our
principles. There is no place here for anyone who cannot.”
Clearly, Cambridge is not an inclusive environment and their
definition isn’t inclusive at all, rather focused on silencing different sides
of an argument.
It is a sad state of affairs when one of the supposedly leading academic institutions in the world is both logically and morally bankrupt. Until you realize that education is big business and no business wants to damage their bottom line by associating themselves with someone who has the courage to voice rational argument but might be controversial.
Even if Dr. Peterson’s views contradicted the ideas of the
entire Cambridge faculty, wouldn’t the wise move be to interact with him and to
fully understand his logic and motivations?
As Sun-Tsu said:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you
need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the
enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know
neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
The BBC also reported that..
In a statement to the Guardian, the university’s students’ union said: “We are relieved to hear that Jordan Peterson’s request for a visiting fellowship to Cambridge’s faculty of divinity has been rescinded following further review.”
Of course! Even the students of the best academic institutions apparently have no tolerance for views other than their own on the grounds of inclusivity.
It’s a sad day for Cambridge, the academic world and mankind. I wonder what my favorite Cambridge alums, Stephen Hawking and Eric Idle, John Cleese and Graham Chapman of Monty Python would say about it?
Perhaps the latter would shout, ‘Nobody expects the Spanish
Inquisition!’ but unfortunately it seems to have arrived.
One of the most impressive Superbowl ads was the Washington
Post commercial stressing the need for truth and honesty as vital to democracy
and a civilized society. The implication
was that their reporting fitted these requirements and thus were serving a
greater purpose. The Washington Post could be the most honest, truthful
publication in the world but that’s not the point. The bigger problem is that
increasingly the world is not interested in the objective truth, merely their
own individual truth, i.e. opinions.
Writing in the May 2014 edition of The Atlantic Emma Green reviewing research on the holocaust said, “Only a third of the world’s population believe the genocide has been accurately described in historical accounts. Some said they thought the number of people who died has been exaggerated; others said they believe it’s a myth.”
TV news shows are full of so-called experts pushing their
agenda without any regard or reference to meaningful data. The world has become
increasingly egotistical and self-centered with scant regard to the evidence
let alone truth.
Some of this disaster can be blamed at the feet of marketing. Ever since Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays realized that new insights into the psyche could be used to manipulate people, Marketing and Public Relations have created communication based on manipulation often in defiance of the facts. (For more, please watch the BBC’s 2002 documentary The Century of the Self). And that pattern of communication has filtered down through the culture, so that people believe communication is about influence and getting what you want. The rise in the recognition of the need for authenticity, says a lot about how inauthentic much communication is.
If Bernays hijacked contemporary psychological theory to manipulate perhaps it’s time for us to do the same: to emphasize that contemporary neuroscience shows human beings not to be rational, but driven by cognitive bias and emotional comfort. With the advent of technology, cognitive bias has been amplified by curating content that gives people what they want to read rather than access to diverse views and data. Through social proof it allows people to reaffirm their beliefs and ideas rather than question them.
Facts and truth have been washed away in a sea of sensationalism, designed to get your attention, excite you and, if possible, capture your personal information.
This culture is neither healthy to us as individuals nor collectively as a nation.
The disinterest and denial of data and facts, leads to extremism, hate and conflict. When we ignore our ability to consider, and accept facts as well as produce and access valuable data, we’re definitely traveling the wrong way down the evolutionary trail. Getting to the truth is one thing, getting others to believe it is quite another.
A few days ago, Hurricane Florence roared into the Carolinas causing flooding, mayhem and some misunderstandings about the psychology of evacuations. As a former psychology professor myself, and one who has lived on the Carolina coast for more than thirty years, and who has had evacuated – and not evacuated — from many storms, I was intrigued to read a Fox News Opinion by Michigan professor Daryl Van Tongeren. While acknowledging that there are many factors involved in a decision not to evacuate, Van Tongeren mentions Terror Management Theory; that we minimize the prospect of death by showing we’re not afraid of danger, as a reason why people choose to stay rather than leave.
I suspect that there are a few who show this bravado, but I seriously doubt that Terror Management is the reason why the vast majority of people stay in the projected path of a storm. In my experience there are two main reasons why people stay and they reflect today’s main concerns: money and stress. And if there’s a psychological mechanism involved, it’s confirmation bias.
The fact is that we all want control over our lives – not just death. And the reality is we don’t have it. In fact, an oncoming hurricane is a wonderful metaphor for life itself; full of uncertainty and potential danger.
So you’re told that there’s a dangerous storm headed your way. Evacuation orders are issued. Businesses close and now you’ve lost a week’s income, if not more. You also have to leave town and take your animals too, which could be a problem if you have something more than a cat and a dog, like a horse, goat or chickens. Many people stay to protect their animals should danger arise.
If you do evacuate, you have to find a place to stay, which in a big storm that threatens more than one state, could be at least a couple of hundred miles away. If you’re going, you’ll probably be gone for at least three days, if not more, resulting in a bill of several hundred dollars and even more if you’re lucky to have found a pet friendly hotel.
There’s also a good chance that you’ll be stuck in traffic for hours. In a storm that threatened much of the southeast coast a few years ago, there was traffic gridlock for hours on some interstates, where restaurants ran out of food and toilets no longer worked, compounding the misery – and stress — for thousands of evacuees. Moreover, once you have left town, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to get back in while an evacuation order is still in effect, resulting in more frustration and unnecessary expense.
So, evacuation could cost as much as several hundred dollars, which many people don’t have and subject them to extreme stress. And a storm impact in your area is just a possibility. What would you do?
For experienced storm watchers, the typical thought process is to weigh the odds. If a big storm is coming right at you, you’ll probably leave, if you can afford it. We did that for Hurricane Hugo, the massive storm that was headed straight for us, when we left very early in the morning. By the time we arrived in our hotel in Columbia, the storm had shifted and was headed north towards Charleston. The storm actually crashed through Columbia late at night, knocking out the power. We left the next day, being fortunate enough to find an open gas station, and arrived home to find barely a downed tree limb. Some wiser friends decided, accurately, that Columbia was too near the storm and opted for the safer confines of Charlotte, North Carolina. Except they were trapped there for a week as the city saw unprecedented flooding.
If there’s some doubt, you will wait. Typically, mandatory evacuation orders are given well in advance of a storm’s arrival, typically 72-96 hours in advance. So, the experienced have learned to wait and see. Let the first evacuees leave. You still have at least another 48 hours to decide what to do, and then you can base your decision on more updated, and more accurate, forecasting.
We have done that on four occasions: twice we left and twice we stayed. The twice we stayed were good decisions as they were no storm impacts at all in our area. One time we left, we learned soon after, that the storm wasn’t going to hit us but we couldn’t get back and had to continue on an unnecessary evacuation. The other time, there was some minor flooding but many neighbors stayed and spent a couple of days cleaning out their garages that had typically received two feet of water; houses in our area are actually built up 15 feet, so there was no risk of flooding to the actual house.
We know from cognitive neuroscience that having made a decision, we will seek evidence that it is the right one and ignore evidence against it – so-called confirmation bias. This goes for life in general. And when life is so uncertain, the fact is we don’t know until events unfold. Then our hindsight bias takes effect and we can once again blame others for a poor decision, or congratulate ourselves on a good one.
It’s not bravado that determines whether to evacuate from a storm or not, it’s simple practicalities and trying to determine the probabilities and what they mean. And humans aren’t very good at that.
Human beings aren’t rational. As if we didn’t really know that already, the recent cognitive neuroscience research shows that we are story-tellers driven by emotional comfort not truth seekers. That surely has always been the case, but what seems dangerously different in the digital era is that for some, rationality and truth don’t even matter. And because for the most part we are not rational doesn’t mean that reason and truth should be sacrificed on the altars of narcissism and opinion.
Ever since the understanding of the mind and human behavior gained pace in the twentieth century, it has been used to manipulate and influence, a movement which was well documented in the BBC documentary, the Century of the Self (still available on Youtube) which showed how Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays made a fortune out of turning the notions of the mind in to ‘Public Relations’ and ‘Propaganda.’
A communication, specifically one designed to inform or influence, can be simply be reduced to these elements
Evidence are facts derived by independent enquiry and qualified by the factors that influence them.
Beliefs and opinions. These are not facts. They are personal and can’t be proven, and only have relevance to the person who has them and the people who share them.
Emotions, like being offended, are neither evidence nor an argument.
Writing a news story is problematic if you want it to be even-handed. Even if there’s an appeal to some evidence there are key questions: What is the context? How are you approaching the gathering of evidence? Are you just selecting your stories to conform to your own biases, whether you know them or not?
Even the most objective writer, especially on a short deadline, can’t possibly cover every angle or perspective, even on a long deadline.
You can slant a communication any way you want. And, as we have become more aware of how the mind works, that is what we all do. (see Advertizing).
Some , like the Skeptics, argued that the search for truth is an infinite regress, that the more you dig the more you have to explore. Others like the Stoics, argue that at some point one has enough evidence so that the facts have some practical usefulness.
So, how do we deal with this human imperfection?
Well, surely the answer is not to exaggerate the problem by not engaging in reasoned discourse.
Dismissing everything as fake news with an emotional response is actually worse than the fake news you’re complaining about it.
The answer is to provide an alternative view based on evidence, not belief, emotional convenience, or opinion. However, this is not how inconvenient news is handled. Rather, it is typically blasted with reality show emotionalism.
In fact, for me, an emotional response without an appeal to further evidence is the last resort for someone with a bankrupt argument. Their only defense is no defense – just an outburst designed to deflect, or even better abort, the discussion. It’s like hatefully marching against hate.
At one point, language was a key to evolution. Now, it might turn out to be the reason for our devolution.
I’m thinking of starting a new business. My idea is to set up a board equally divided by members of two different philosophies. The board members know that they are almost certainly going to be on the board for several years and will be paid very well. There also will be no barriers to them working for other organizations or receiving input and money from any sources.
What do you think?
Personally, I think this is no way to run a lemonade stand let alone a business, let alone a state, let alone a country. The presumed checks and balances of such a system lead to a lot of checks for the incumbents and keep the rest of us off balance. The currency becomes wheeling and dealing, quid pro quo, with relatively minor consideration of the important issues at hand. The political social network and bargaining mindset communication is a bit like middle school but with more at stake.
How is this ever going to be resolved?
Term limits? Sure term limits would help. They would be a good start. However, as a professional politician, for example you could have two terms in the state Assembly then two terms in the State Senate, then two terms in the US House and then the US Senate. Assuming a limit of two terms of 4 years, that’s 32 years right there!
Moreover, term limits would ideally need to be matched with campaign spending limits. If not, Joe Billionaire could have his guy serve for two terms, then sponsor someone else to run for the next two terms and so on, ad infinitum.
As someone who sees the serious flaws in binary thinking, I’d like to see the demise of the two party system. It simplifies many complex national issues to absurdity and keeps people stuck in an ideological mindset that is not helpful. Still, I don’t see that demise happening soon.
I have often mused about winning the lottery and then setting up a “shadow” Senate with a group that represented the population as a whole, with three people from each state selected based on their willingness to be open-minded and accept a modest salary without perks for serving their country. I suspect that such a body would resolve many complex national issues in a considerably shorter time and with more focus than the elected government. I guess that they would work much more efficiently as a team, with less rancor. They might even make America great again.
In the midst of my despair about the way this country is run and where it is headed, I met William Herlong, a Republican candidate running for the critical post of Attorney General in South Carolina. He is competing against the Republican Alan Wilson, the incumbent, in an election on June
Mr. Herlong, an extremely accomplished and experienced lawyer, doesn’t need the money, nor does he want a political career. His motivation stems entirely from his desire to tackle what he sees as major corruption in SC politics; corruption that is apparently going unchecked in Columbia.
William Herlong believes in term limits and if elected will limit himself to two terms. That will help him focus on the job at hand, rather than worrying about a political career. As Herlong himself says, as soon as you are intent on establishing a political career your current political office is already compromised, sacrificed on the altar of personal gain and career longevity.
In Herlong, I see an antidote to the development and growth of the swamp. Don’t elect career politicians.Elect people who are pursuing the job for the right reasons; the service of the people, not their own egos. Experience as an elected official is not a positive characteristic in my view.
The Attorney General position is very powerful, perhaps even more powerful than the Governor’s role. The AG is the enforcer and without an efficient and moral enforcer, the swamp just gets bigger, no matter how popular the Governor may be.
Now I understand the culture in which we live. It’s egocentric and a detriment to collaboration, open-mindedness and wisdom. You only have to look at election campaigns where candidates slander and abuse each other, to see how low we have sunk. (By the way, did you know that primates, also have their own ‘elections’ to determine the alpha male? They team up and effectively vote. There’s one difference between these primate elections and ours: theirs are more civilized.)
So as much as, or even more, than term limits and campaign spending caps, we need honest and talented people with no political aspirations to step in and do the job for the right reasons, no strings attached. We don’t need manipulative people, conspiring with others, bartering to get their way. We simply need more honest people like William Herlong. That’s the way to run a state, an organization, a lemonade stand, and yes, even a country.