Michael J. Kerrigan

Ben Sasse

Looking back over my thirty plus years as a Washington Lobbyists rarely have I witnessed the decline and dysfunction of the Congress, as maybe the case today? No doubt this decline is associated with the lack of approval and trust in Members of Congress.

However, several factors in addition to the decline in leadership, have also contributed to the ineffectiveness of our political leaders, namely:

            The coarsening of our public discourse

The degree to which ideological purity intrudes on political pragmatism

The growing importance of money in politics

The refusal of individuals to collaborate for the common good

Voltaire’s aphorism, “the perfect is the enemy of the good,” was once a sentiment in the Congress that encouraged going along with imperfect legislation in order to accomplish the public interest. Today the center cannot hold and that sentiment has given… Continue reading

My last three posts: I Cannot Live Without Books, Does Our Nation Still Have An Appetite For Great Books, And Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Western Culture’s Go To Go are less about my own reading addiction and more about preparing the next generation of informed citizens. Whether all of us are fit to govern, all of us must be prepared to be making informed judgments about whom “we the people” delegate the daily business of governing.

The next generation of informed citizen might consider accepting one of two challenges. First, we can take a cue from Charles Eliot’s “five feet” of books. That is set aside sixty inches of shelves to build a list that would be limited to about sixty books. It would be fun to learn from readers as to what books they would choose to be on their personal shelves.

Second readers might consider accepting the “Century… Continue reading

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