By Scott Nesler
Good citizenship depends on individuals polishing their point of view so it can be understood and respected by others. Providing the tools for developing personal points of view and providing a better demographic method of visibility for the argument is my suggestion to democratize the discussion.
Many seem to think the political argument revolves around the Republican or the Democratic party. The fault nor the solution is with the two party system. The solution resides in the pragmatic and generous spirit of a populace armed with the tools and the media to reflect their point of view in a respectful and intelligent light.
The problem is not our governance, it is the vast majority of the citizens don't know how to play the game. Ideologies serving a minuscule point of view have figured out how to pull their resources to gain favor in the system. There is no single ideology representative of the populace. Until the whole starts intelligently collaborating towards a common good expect to continue interpreting the system as unreasonable. Internet technology can alter this irrational exuberance of power.
I have a theory. The best argument of an average individual is better than the average argument of the best op-ed journalist. Though the merit of blogs would debunk this theory, I claim the participants are not coming close to their potential.
I have a second theory or rather a proclamation. The freedom of speech does not provide a freedom to be heard. Screaming or the threat of violence does not motivate many to listen. You can’t force a point of view. You can only guide it from the clarity of your perspective. The Do Good Gauge describes a formula to give citizens a better chance of being heard. Coherency and respect are instrumental to the formula.
Like it or not, everyone has a point of view. Some points of view are just plain bad. I’m not ashamed to admit my own erroneous perspective has been swayed by respectful individuals with more knowledge than myself. When a point of view is foggy, it is up to an individual to change direction or clarify his or her position.
One of many premises of the Do Good Gauge is that an argument is developed by an individual or like thinking group. The continuous refinement and feedback of an argument offers the means to clarify a point of view and/or steer the argument in an optimal direction.
An argument is a prescribed resolution to a problem. It is a point of view. It ranges from bad to good. Alexander Fleming, Thomas Edison, and Benjamin Franklin's mistakes far exceeded their successes. Solutions come from the tenacity to build upon one's mistakes. A bad argument is a beginning. It's a motivational attempt to drive toward a better solution.
The Do Good Gauge is a work in progress with an attempt to provide a better forum for argument discourse. The idea is to implement a supportive media allowing an individual to clarify his or her point of view. The focus is on a solution. Visibility is established through coaching, iteration, publication, and public measurement. Blog style commenting is allowed only as a measure to support understanding. Appropriate measure is taken to prevent comments from distracting the progress to a better solution.
Some of ideas expressed in this essay exist in the prototype of the website. The lack of participants hampers the progress. No money is required to help in the effort. Needed are individuals with similar vision to the Do Good Gauge and the clarity to express this vision to a wider audience.
I worry about the fate of citizens when hate, fear, ignorance, and mayhem becomes the most effective methods for change. Respect, coherency, and community should be given equal opportunity. The Do Good Gauge is an attempt to describe and develop a better way.