These are challenging times. Surely for the United States, as the nation’s self image is being undermined by a Congress that can’t seem to get much of anything substantive done; by constant bickering among opportunistic politicians on the far right and left; by weak, recessionary economic conditions and stubbornly high unemployment; by big business firms exporting jobs and creating a modern form of slavery, when those who are lucky enough to be employed often do the work of three or more people, to achieve some level of job security.Somehow, we seem to be losing ground, even as we’re racing at warp speed.
We keep hoping the dark cloud over the nation will dissipate and that the sun will shine again. But the cloud layer continues to thicken.
With a weakened self esteem threatening to seriously derail a great nation, leaders in business and government can play an important role in boosting American spirit. They can refocus on fundamental values. We’re not suggesting rigid religious values and beliefs. But instead, in business, the fundamental values of producing products and services that deliver value to consumers. Services and products that are fairly and competitively priced. And…most important, a renewed commitment to treating employees with respect, and recognising their role in a company’s achievements and success.
In government, our elected officials can refocus on doing the peoples’ work. In real terms, rather than just paying lip service to addressing important human needs. Politicians need to debate the issues, but through constructive discussion, without all the made-for-media, mostly negative sound bites. It surely can’t hurt to do this, considering the dismal findings of recent public opinion polls…that 82 per cent of Americans are fed up with vitriolic political discourse and gridlock in Washington. Politicians, business executives and others in the public eye often are so focused on managing words and thoughts that they lose sight of the truth. How can elected representatives of the people ignore such dismally low public opinion?
Maybe vitriolic discourse can’t be switched to constructive discussion at the flip of a switch. But if politicians would just own up to the problem…Wouldn’t that be a good start? And wouldn’t a decision by politicians to forego their month-long, August break to get back to work in Washington boost American spirit? If politicians were to say to the people…We hear you. We realise this is not the time to be away from Washington. You want us to work together, to stop our bickering, to address the needs of the nation. We hear you.
They just need to get back to basic values, in government and business. To reverse negative opinion, to lift the dark cloud and rebuild the spirit of a great nation.
As a communications executive for multinational firms, Harvey Radin was responsible for PR, media relations and crisis communications management during his corporate career in Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco. He is currently an independent public relations consultant, and author of an ePub, The Real Deal…Public Opinion, PR, Advertising.
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