Bring Meaning to Work and Purpose to Spirituality
By picking Paul Ryan as his presidential running mate, Mitt Romney has dramatically increased the stakes and risks of his chances for winning the White House this fall. Is this a smart move for Romney and the country? I doubt it.
There is no question that Paul Ryan brings powerful ideas to the table for the big problems facing the nation and the world, something of a rarity among world leaders these days which have contributed and are contributing to the deepening economic crises world wide (just look at the mess in Greece, Spain and the euro zone). On the other hand, the root cause of the global economic crises is not merely intellectual but more psychological and even spiritual. A high stake political campaign among extremely polarized electorates hardly creates the optimal conditions for cool thinking and serious debates on big ideas. It’s all too easy for both sides to hit the panic button and end up in the mud vs. clear visions and choices. There was a window of opportunity to raise our national IQ on the big issues 3.5 years ago, on the heel of President Obama’s historical victory and the majority of the country united behind him. Unfortunately, he wasted the opportunity on a secondary and ill-fated healthcare reform and set the country on a course of mud slide of the last two years and no doubt through this Presidential campaign and for a long time to come no matter who wins the 2012 election. What the country needs the most right now is not more IQ but vast injection of emotional intelligence or EQ to unite the country behind a common purpose. There is simply no leader of national stature in sight that could fulfill such promise. Congressman Ryan definitely comes across as a most intelligent, articulate and compassionate human being. However, such fine qualities could easily be drowned out by the politics surrounding his policies. Will he help win the hearts of enough independent voters to compensate for the loss of electorates, especially seniors, who are not necessarily thrilled by the prospect of President Obama’s policies but certainly scared or even cynical of more big changes coming from Washington? Under uncertainty, people tend to settle for status quo as a passive defense strategy. That is not exactly good news for Mitt Romney’s campaign.