Connections - Spring 2017 - 29

>

choices

Wisdom and
the Pendulum

BY JOHN P. HARRISON,
CAE, CMP
I HAPPEN TO believe that everything is ultimately
theology, and what's not is economics. Let me explain.
Even if you believe in nothing, that's still a theology
(and then Nothing, I suppose, really is sacred). I've been
lucky enough to live in a couple of different "doms."
I've lived in Islamadom, Judaidom, and what's left of
Christendom, but what I fear most is Nothingdom (it
has the worst track record yet).
Nothingdom is really a self-inflicted aspect of
Judaidom and Christendom in that they allow for
debates over pluralism, which can lead to some other
"doms." They don't like such debates in the other
"doms," especially Nothingdom. This is what is not
being appreciated: the freedom of thought which is
based on Graeco-Judeo-Christian civilization (and that
is just a politically correct name for Christendom, by
the way). Even the mosaic American model must have a
mortar board, and that mortar board is what we used to
call a Melting Pot toward a common set of values, and
that Melting Pot derives from a unique rabbi's vision of
an identity paired with peaceful inclusion, articulated
a couple of millennia ago. Appreciate what the world
looks like now compared to what it might have looked
like if that Rabbi from long ago had been a man of the
sword instead of a man of peace.
What's also to appreciate is economics. There is
a debate now on what our national budget is to look
like. It looks like the current president has shoved
out there-bare-naked-the concept of "here's what
we really have to pay for, let everything else speak its
worth." Now this makes a lot of well-meaning groups
very nervous; some fighting mad. Let us appreciate
the fact that there's an open season and curse not
the debate. A budget should have some relation to
mathematical reality. Do we want to fund Project X?
It's a great project and the right thing to do. Now, do

we want to borrow money to fund Project X? For that's
really the question.
And we should debate these things. Perhaps it will
lead us to come to grips with entitlements eventually-
but as always, not now-if the next generation is
to prosper at all. My Social Security will need to be
cut; I will not run from that math. We can only hope
facing those bare-naked economics sooner rather
than later may be today's saving grace. And if it is,
my great-grandchildren, whom I will never meet, will
not read-if the written word is still around-of the
current buffoonery in Washington, but of the tackling
of an impossible deal.
There's a lot of venom in politics these days. We've
seen this before, and frankly, I don't care which side
you're on. We're better than this. We really are. If you
need someone to blame for the increased partisanship,
it's really Ross Perot. I say this because Bush 41 was
our last truly qualified president from a resume
perspective; he's the only one of the past several who
would have been hired by a non-biased hiring board
as having the appropriate credentials. Bush 41 was
handed a defeat by Perot who split the non-Clinton
vote-Clinton being the first of the Boomers and
relative to the Greatest Generation, somewhat of a
dodgy character (and not just the draft).
That's when the modern hatred pendulum really
kicked up: hatred from the right, and then hatred from
the left, and so on. The pendulum's been swinging
since-and blessed are those who are rational,
non-hating, and guileless when the pendulum moves
fro instead of to. I worked for six years in the liberal
arts academia during both Clinton and Bush 43, and
the venom of the liberal artists and the conservatives
(what few there were in the academia) was something
to behold. I have no baseline venom metric from which

continued on page 30

connections >

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Spring 2017

GSAE News & Events
New Members
Living Legends: Tim O’Donnell, CIC, Bill Anderson, CAE, LEED AP, and Robin B. Gray Jr., JD
Georgia Partnership for Educational Excellence: A Culture of Continuous Improvement
Questioning the Orthodox Beliefs of Association Governing
The Future of Education and Employment
Building Organizational Resilience
My Internship with the Southern Economic Development Council
GSAE February and April Luncheons
Meetings Thought Leadership
Advertiser.com
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Spring 2017 - intro
Connections - Spring 2017 - bellyband1
Connections - Spring 2017 - bellyband2
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover1
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover2
Connections - Spring 2017 - 3
Connections - Spring 2017 - 4
Connections - Spring 2017 - 5
Connections - Spring 2017 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Spring 2017 - 7
Connections - Spring 2017 - 8
Connections - Spring 2017 - New Members
Connections - Spring 2017 - Living Legends: Tim O’Donnell, CIC, Bill Anderson, CAE, LEED AP, and Robin B. Gray Jr., JD
Connections - Spring 2017 - 11
Connections - Spring 2017 - 12
Connections - Spring 2017 - 13
Connections - Spring 2017 - Georgia Partnership for Educational Excellence: A Culture of Continuous Improvement
Connections - Spring 2017 - 15
Connections - Spring 2017 - 16
Connections - Spring 2017 - 17
Connections - Spring 2017 - Questioning the Orthodox Beliefs of Association Governing
Connections - Spring 2017 - 19
Connections - Spring 2017 - The Future of Education and Employment
Connections - Spring 2017 - 21
Connections - Spring 2017 - Building Organizational Resilience
Connections - Spring 2017 - 23
Connections - Spring 2017 - My Internship with the Southern Economic Development Council
Connections - Spring 2017 - GSAE February and April Luncheons
Connections - Spring 2017 - 26
Connections - Spring 2017 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Spring 2017 - 28
Connections - Spring 2017 - 29
Connections - Spring 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover3
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover4
Connections - Spring 2017 - outsert1
Connections - Spring 2017 - outsert2
Connections - Spring 2017 - 38
Connections - Spring 2017 - 39
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