Unconventional Wisdom

Conventional wisdom says don’t make big decisions during a crisis. But not-as-conventional wisdom that has prevailed in recent years says, don’t make any substantive changes in the wake of crises.

And that’s just plain wrong.

Every time there is a mass shooting in the United States, some groups call for new gun regulations and legislation. Other groups say it’s too soon. Some elected officials say that taking measures in the wake of the shooting would be ‘using the tragedy for political gain’.

And they’re right. It is political. And social. And economic.

That’s the perfect time—and use—for political effort. Political leaders should use things like a tragedy to propel political and social gain for all of the people who were affected by the event and who could potentially be affected by a similar event. By dismissing political moves, these groups are dismissing the fundamental duty of their elected offices--working on behalf of all of the people they represent.

The political gain is not for one person or one state. The gain is for all people. Preventing future tragedy—think about air bags and seat belts—is a function of government. The gain is people’s lives.

After a hurricane, measures should be taken to mitigate the damage in the future. After a car accident. After a pandemic.

We should learn from what happened and take steps to do better. Failure isn’t an end. It’s the beginning of a new, better effort.

What other things should prompt immediate upgrades, solutions, and/or changes?

  • Election security after irregularities

  • Social Services delivery after natural disaster

  • Paid Sick Leave during pandemic

  • Banking regulation after an economic meltdown

  • Penalties after a mass fraud

Citizens shouldn’t have to wait for justice and answers.

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