Mr. Brown Can Woo, Can You?
Normally, special elections are barely a footnote in off-years, but once again, this provides an excellent lesson in systems thinking; namely, when some element of the system gets out of balance, the environment or the system itself will pull it back into alignment. Sometimes, the realignment is a gentle nudge. In the past decade of national politics, the pendulum swings the other way with the force of a released rubber band tanked up on Red Bull.
Consider this: We as a nation put George W. Bush into office because we were sick of "Slick Willy." Within eight short years, the White House and both houses of Congress were controlled by Democrats. Simply a year ago, the world was gripped with Obama-fever as he took his Oath of Office. Now, Massachusetts, the bluest of the blue states, has elected a (GASP!) Republican senator in the midst of voter anguish. Kennedy family members of three generations are rolling in their graves (at least the ones were weren't "voting" yesterday).
While the politicians in Washington (and Massachusetts) are making excuses about why and how this happened, I can replace their excuses with explanations: the system corrected itself. Democrats and Republicans alike are losing sight of one fundamental truth: we live in a centrist society. Solutions are not at the extremes of political ideologies; they generally reside in the middle. Obama promised a "govern from the middle" approach and quickly violated that promise. And the system corrected itself by removing a filibuster-proof majority from the Senate.
Now the question remains - will the Democrats recognize this event for what it is (a system correction) and make the necessary adjustments, or will they keep pushing their agenda through the system? Only time will tell. But November isn't too far away on the political timeline. And systems will take one of two paths: they will continue to fix themselves, or they will break beyond repair. No matter how you cut it, Scott Brown recognized the system was broken, and he ran a campaign which resonated that sentiment. ("This is not Ted Kennedy's seat. This is the PEOPLE'S seat.")
How about you and your organization? Are your systems out of whack? Are they screaming at you for a course correction? Are you going to do something about it?