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Why the Opposite of Progress is Congress…

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Alfred said it best in the movie Batman Begins: “Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

That’s a truth we all know and accept.

Put another way, we learn from our mistakes.

You see, failure makes us stronger. Failure makes us better. Every great scientific discovery came after many failures.

In everything we do, failure – not success – is the catalyst of growth.

As human beings, we should not fear failure. We have to accept it as a fundamental and necessary part of success.

Unless, of course, you’re a politician.

Political parties remove failure from the equation. In politics, any failure – no matter how small – is unacceptable. In politics, if a democrat makes a single mistake, republicans will attack like sharks on a feeding frenzy. In politics, if a republican accidentally says something stupid while giving a speech, the democrats won’t hesitate to light the torches and pick up the pitchforks.

In politics, failure is not an option.

And because failure is not an option, growth is not an option.

Because of political parties, politicians aren’t allowed to risk anything. If they try something that isn’t perfect, they’re forced to pretend it is perfect, because if they don’t, the other party will use it to destroy them. They can’t say, “Okay, that didn’t work out, but we did learn some important things here. Now we can work to improve it.” They have to spend all their time defending their ideas instead of improving their ideas.

And because of this, politicians aren’t willing to try a genuinely new idea.

And because they won’t try anything new, our country has become stagnant.

If we, the American people, don’t start giving our politicians a little breathing room when it comes to failure, this country will never improve.



2 responses »

  1. Good observation Jerry.

    Another example is the health insurance exchange section of the ACA.

    The conservative Heritage Foundation was an originating source for exchanges and advocated for health insurance exchanges for many years. Further, the Heritage Foundation supported the health insurance exchange in the Massachusetts Health Care Law under then Governor Romney (source:

    Republicans did not rail against it then, but when it became law, initiated by the Democrats, all of a sudden it became the end of the world to Republicans. It wasn’t even, as you said, a “genuinely new idea.” All that matters to the Republicans is that a Democrat took the idea and got it passed into law.


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