The Participation Blog

How We’re Being Schooled

Politics has always been and may always be a blood sport with one goal: win, to gain and keep power. And I’m not suggesting that’s necessarily bad, you’ve got to get the job to do the job, but it’s different than governing which, in a democracy, usually means working for the greater good.

We try hard to stay out of politics in this little tome, but public policy (which we certainly get into) and politics are often conflated, sometimes for the benefit but usually to the detriment of the greater good. I’m confident in saying that the current U.S. administration has taken the use of public propaganda, misinformation, bullying, distraction, obfuscation and media manipulation to a remarkable level.

This particular period of political time will be the subject of debate and psychoanalysis for years to come, and that’s what’s of interest to me – and probably you, who’ve had front row seats to this reality show, and who also work with the public. Why on Earth would we think people would trust government when they’ve been subjected to a carefully crafted and well executed campaign designed to reinforce fear, dread and hate of these institutions.

We need to pay attention and learn from the covert and overt actions and nuances of these days because this new public communication and engagement reality is fundamentally effecting the way that citizens view public leadership, and how we’ll need to adjust the way we work with regular people and other more formal stakeholders. The following sums up quite nicely how we’re being schooled. Read More