The Survival of America Depends on the Critical Skills (#1)

The impact of Critical Skills on America and on YOU is profound! Critical Skills affect you every day and, for better or worse, they will affect the future of this country. (This article is the first in a series of 3.)

I wrote a book about the Eight Critical Skills You Need to Succeed. You can obtain a FREE copy in PDF format by clicking the button below.

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Wanted: Eight Critical Skills

The purpose of this post and those that follow is to describe how the Critical Skills may (and are) being used to achieve some sort of goal.

The impact of the Critical Skills comes in many forms that are not easy to describe because effective use of the Critical Skills on any problem requires integration and focus.

While you will need to use the Critical Skills to be successful every day of your life—as a citizen, as a family member, in your career, and interacting with others in general—this series of posts will deal only with the world of politics.

A politician tries to communicate a clear and concise message about an issue or problem as quickly, easily, efficiently and as cost-effective as possible. For any issue, he/she tries to persuade voters to agree with a conclusion and, therefore, a reason to support a specific position—and, ultimately, to justify some sort of action.

We live in a democratic republic that requires citizens to engage in active discussion and debate about issues that affect us so that appropriate conclusions may be drawn upon which laws can be written or government action can be taken.

Democracy isn’t easy. In fact, it’s been described as messy. As Jefferson pointed out, that for democracy to work, you need educated voters—voters who can think.

But this isn’t easy either. Winston Churchill once remarked, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” He also said, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

Here’s how the Critical Skills work in politics.

  • An issue is identified – such as
    • Getting us into a war (WWII, Vietnam, Iraq, etc.)
    • Corruption or malfeasance in government (Watergate, Russian election interference)
    • Taxes (Raise or lower
  • Information is collected
    • The facts or “alternative facts” are listed
      • Pearl Harbor was bombed
      • Our ships in the Gulf of Tonkin were attacked
      • Saddam might have weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)
      • Our electoral process has been compromised
  • The premise is set
    • The premise is the starting point for any logical thought process
    • The premise is the proposition from which conclusions will be drawn
    • The premise is like a hypothesis—if such and such is true, then we can logically infer conclusions from the information we gather
  • Findings are identified (Analysis) – what the information means
    • Develop our findings
      • The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor
      • The North Vietnamese attacked our ships
      • Saddam has WMDs
      • The Russians have interfered in our electoral process
  • Drawing conclusions (Analysis)
    • Using logic to draw conclusions from the premise/hypothesis
      • We must go to war against the Japanese or the North Vietnamese
      • We must invade Iraq to protect our security
      • We must sanction the Russians
  • The Importance of Truth
    • If your information is true, then your findings and conclusions will have a solid base.
    • If your information is NOT true, then your findings and conclusions can be either true or false. (This is vital to understand.)
  • Communicating conclusions to gain support (Communications /Technology)
    • Policy speeches
    • State of the union address
    • TV advertisements
    • Social Media (Twitter/Facebook)
  • Taking action based on recommendations from the analysis
    • Going to war
    • Legislating a new law
    • Sanctioning the Russians

As mentioned earlier, whatever analyses we do are totally dependent on the truth of our facts—their validity. This is the information upon which we base our analysis, develop our findings, draw our conclusions, make our recommendations, and act based on these analyses.

Generally, the issues are rather easy to identify, so follow up posts won’t dwell on this.

Instead, the follow up posts will describe how each of these are approached—even manipulated—to result in the kind of action we want.

Effective use of the Critical Skills is essential to the survival of our democratic republic. At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation: “What have we got: a republic or a monarchy?”

Mr. Franklin is said to have responded: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Franklin was right. If we want to keep our democratic republic, then we MUST be able to effectively use the Critical Skills.

Your future and the future of your children and grandchildren depend on them.

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