By Boyd Matheson

History is filled with once-thriving companies, communities and even countries that decided good enough was good enough. Today, the endless pursuit of maintaining the status quo of “good enough” works well for Washington politicians and insiders, but never ends well for hard-working Americans. While the distraction of political drama and infighting over the status quo may distract the media and pacify the masses for a moment, and certainly keeps the current political elites in power, it ultimately ends with a great deal of sorrow and suffering for the people of the nation.

Preserving the status quo has been the central goal of the established leaders of both political parties for decades. Both parties have served up a steady stream of fake fights and false choices to the good people of this country. They have used the tactics of division and distraction – the tactics many a tyrant down through the ages has deployed to preserve their own power.

Leaders have attempted to convince the American people that we are simply too divided as a nation to deal with the difficult issues of the day. Division has become the ultimate excuse for lawmakers and power brokers as to why they never achieve progress and current status quo remains.

For example, Washington tells us that we cannot solve the immigration issue because we are simply too divided. I maintain that 94 percent of the immigration issue could be solved in a single afternoon on the floor of the United States House and Senate – because there is overwhelming agreement on the vast majority of the commonsense solutions to our immigration problem. But leaders in Washington tell us it simply cannot be done and we need to just settle for the status quo.

Sadly, there are many individuals and organizations in Washington who raise enormous amounts of money using immigration as a divisive issue and both political parties run election campaigns with immigration as a wedge issue. The American people deserve better and should certainly expect more than the same old status quo.

Immigration is just one area where we are being told to simply settle for the status quo while political groups amass fortunes in fundraising dollars. The American people should reject the excuses of the political class and demand real dialogue, debate and serious solutions for a host of critical issues.

Sutherland Institute believes we can make real progress this year on:

  • Transforming, not destroying public education – creating flexible, student-centric learning with empowered parents, teachers and local leaders.
  • Balancing, preserving and protecting the rights of all – from the LGBT community to religious groups and everyone in between – real tolerance and mutual accommodation can be achieved.
  • Making poverty temporary instead of just tolerable.
  • Fostering a health care system where dollars and decisions are kept with patients and their doctors.
  • Ending dependence on big government solutions when community solutions can solve the problem.

In the year ahead we should reject Washington’s excuses of division, ignore political distractions, and demand more. We believe in the old saying, “You can make progress or you can make excuses but you cannot make both!”

In November of 2016 our nation voted for disruption of the status quo. More than the American people voted for a conservative or liberal agenda – our citizens voted for disruption. In America the status quo has never been sufficient for success – and good enough simply isn’t good enough for the United States of America. It is time to disrupt and destroy the status quo and create the extraordinary future the American people deserve.

For Sutherland Institute this is Boyd Matheson. Thanks for engaging – because principle matters.

This post is an edited transcript of Principle Matters, a weekly radio commentary broadcast on several radio stations across the country. The podcast can be found below.

Receive this broadcast each week directly via iTunes by clicking here

Boyd Matheson is president of Sutherland Institute. Boyd, who served as chief of staff for Utah Senator Mike Lee in Washington, D.C., has a wealth of experience as a coach, executive adviser and business consultant. In addition to his service as Sen. Lee’s chief of staff, Boyd most recently built a successful political consulting firm advising national and state elected officials and candidates. From 2005 to 2012, he served as president of Trillium Strategies, a consulting firm focused on branding, business transformation and operational excellence. Boyd and his wife, Debbie, have five children and four grandchildren.


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