Moving Toward Constructive Solutions

Volume 8 Issue 5

In my previous Analytic Insider, we discussed whether America is likely to become increasingly polarized or could turn the corner and start forging constructive solutions to the many existential threats we now confront as a nation. We all expect that this will prove a major challenge for the US Congress, but the more critical question is whether Americans can begin the process of engaging in constructive dialogues.


America is Polarized: Truth or Propaganda?

Volume 8 Issue 4

Congress has failed to address many key public policy concerns because polarization—and more recently obstructionism—places mounting obstacles to compromise and collaboration. Are we headed down a slippery slope toward more division and crass power politics or are we at a turning point where popular support is growing for forging constructive solutions to our nation’s problems?


Is There an Active Insurrectionist Movement in the United States?

Volume 8 Issue 3

Applying this time-proven “indicators yardstick” to current political dynamics in this country strongly suggests that an incipient insurgency—or in today’s parlance, an insurrectionist movement—is beginning to emerge in the United States.



Insurrection: From Foreign Threat to Domestic Problem

Volume 8 Issue 2

The events of 6 January, 2021, may have catapulted the United States into a new reality. Historically, most illicit activity in the United States has been defined by categories such as criminal behavior, hate crimes, and terrorism. We now may need to focus more attention on a fourth category: Insurrection.



Making America Work Again: Using a Constructionist Approach to Move Forward

Volume 8 Issue 1

Continuing polarization is expected by many, guaranteeing at least two more years of gridlock on the Hill. I do not believe, however, that this is inevitable. Gridlock can be avoided if a new, Constructionist focus of power emerges in both houses of Congress.



Structuring the Debate Over COVID

Volume 7 Issue 6

The debate over how to manage the COVID crisis has surfaced two highly dissimilar perspectives:

  • Some argue that we must follow the guidance of scientists to minimize deaths.
  • Others say the greater threat is to close down the economy.

The current focus of this debate is whether and how to open schools. Instead of viewing this dilemma as “us vs. them,” concerned citizens should frame the debate as a tension between two key drivers. When these drivers are arrayed on a 2×2 matrix, four scenarios can be constructed that better represent what choices are available to find an optimal resolution to the problem.



Destructionists versus Constructionists: America’s New Political Divide?

Volume 7 Issue 4

Labels such as liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, socialist or nationalist have dominated the political dialogue for many years. But in today’s world, such labels are more likely to divide and obfuscate than define and illuminate.A better lens for understanding people’s intentions and a more useful framework for projecting what now needs to be done in America is to throw away the overused labels.



A New Way to Divide America?

Volume 7 Issue 3

In the coming months, Americans may find themselves divided into two new classes—the “munies” who have antibodies and immunity from the COVID-19 virus and the “no-vids” who have not contracted the COVID-19 virus and possess no antibodies. The biggest social implication of the emergence of two new categories of people is that we may wake up in a couple months living in a hybrid society.



Moving from Disagreement to Dialogue

Volume 7 Issue 2

As COVID-19 increasingly adds stress to our lives, it could either spur greater polarization in our society or become the stimulus for bringing us together. Our ability to come out of this crisis with minimal damage will depend in large part on learning how to better engage each other in a constructive, problem-solving dialogue. The best way to avoid conflict is to show more empathy, be a good listener, and strive to understand what motivates others.



Coronavirus: Facing Difficult Decisions

Volume 7 Issue 1

As the coronavirus continues its path from Wuhan, China, spreading infection rates and fear, senior policymakers face difficult political decisions. When faced with difficult choices, I advise taking an hour to employ a Structured Analytic Technique like Premortem Analysis or reviewing a previous Structured Self-Critique to prevent a potentially calamitous decision.