I want to believe!

· by Herb Dew

Herb is the CEO of HTI. He founded HTI in 1999 along with John Knight and David Sewell, and remains heavily involved in the organization today.
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I want to believe again!

Watching the Republican convention this week has made me re-engage into the political arena so that I can make a good decision this fall. I have been so disgusted with our political system that I have just turned if off so that I can do what many Americans are doing…focus on getting myself, my family and my company through this recession.

I love the concept of politics. Multiple views about how our country should run followed by clear choices, and the freedom to express our opinions on those views and choices. Essentially the promise given to us by our founding fathers. Conflict in politics is necessary. It forces people to shape their views and present them coherently in a way that people can understand and then choose to agree or disagree. Over the years, my views on different issues have shifted and refined as I heard opposing views. Our country is a country that celebrates innovation. Ideas are the centerpiece of innovation.

What bothers me, and has bothered me for a while now, is the lack of courage in politics. I miss the politicians that felt so strongly about their views that they would stand in front of Americans and defend their position. Politics has become so much about sound bites and “message” that we never get to hear a person speak deeply about their position. As a listener, I feel like I’m being pandered to 100% of the time. That, in turn, triggers an instinctive distrust of that person and their message.

We need courageous Americans to get into politics. I am worried about the United States. Not just slightly worried. I am deeply worried. I am old enough now to have experienced changes in political climates: the country swinging to the right and left, or the country being issue focused (like after 9/11). But I can almost feel a more permanent change that is overtaking all of us. Words like “apathy” and “mediocrity” feel more appropriate to describe us now than do words like “exceptional” and “innovative”.  That makes me sad.

I decided the other night that I wasn’t going to just mourn our country without stating how I feel and getting involved again. It starts with Americans at the grass roots saying “NO”. I want our schools to be the best in the world again. I want the dollar to be the strongest currency in the world again. I want each American to be able to find a job. I want our economy to be the benchmark for all other countries again. I want to pioneer space again. I want to see Americans invent the greatest new products. I want individuals to feel inspired to start their own businesses again. I want my kids to have a better America than I have had. Better than my parents had.

I want to believe again!

I am ONE. But it starts somewhere.