Getting Ready to Choose: Darkness or Democracy

The choice for American leadership gets clearer and clearer every day. Your decision will be based on the meaning of the word “greatness”. There are two very different greatness options to choose from in 2024.

American democracy is in crisis. In Chinese, the word crisis is a symbol that has two faces, one face is danger, dark, troubled, fearful, and angry. The other face is bright, hopeful, optimistic, happy, and opportunistic.

That’s the choice in 2024, Dark, Troubled, Angry, Fearful, and Evil Greatness vs. Hopeful, Optimistic, Happy, Competent, and Opportunistic Greatness. 

The Ingredients of Hopeful, Optimistic, Happy, and Competent Greatness

The optimistic face of greatness is illustrated by these words and concepts.

CompetenceInformative
CreativityInspirational
DignityKind
DistinctionLeadership
EnthusiasmMemorable
EthicalMotivating
GenerousPerceptive
HumbleVirtuous
IdealisticVisionary
InclusiveWise
InfluentialWorthy
The Ingredients of Angry, Dark, Dangerous, Troubled, Fearful, and Often Evil Greatness
The Evil Greatness Creed
Be Angry, Evil, Every Day, Constantly Frown and Scowl.

Victimize, intimidate, harm the harmless, harass the helpless, hurt, shame the blameless, lie all the time.

Daily Dark Greatness Behaviors
  1. Whine, moan, cry, “I am the Victim.”
  2. Cry, “Doom’s Day is almost here.”
  3. “I am the only one who can prevent Dooms Day and the blood baths to follow.”
  4. “I am not a crook.”
  5. “I am not a racist.”
  6. “I did not have sex with those women.”
  7. Some of my best friends are (pardoned) crooks, dictators, and people loyal only to themselves.
  8. Hate democracy.  
Top Ten Required Daily Dark Greatness Behaviors
  1. Deeds, words, or actions that vilify.
  2. Deeds, words, or actions that use sarcasm to ridicule, damage, demean, dismiss, diminish, or humiliate.
  3. Deeds, words, or actions that are arrogant, causing needless, intentional pain and suffering.
  4. Deeds, words, or actions that intentionally, harmfully, and overbearingly express anger and irritation.
  5. Deeds, words, or actions that are overly demanding and bullying.
  6. Deeds, words, or actions that are just plain mean.
  7. Deeds, words, or actions that insult, intentionally demean, minimize, and marginalize.
  8. Deeds, words, or actions that become emotionally corrosive, disrespectful, and disparaging.
  9. Put forth proposals that are negative, punitive, defensive, and harmfully restrictive on others.
  10. Lie about everything, all the time, careless and constant repetition in the press and new media will make the lies into the truth.
The Choice is Clear and That Choice is Yours Alone to Make

The Definition of greatness you choose in 2024 will set the tone and temperature for American democracy, if it survives the danger, for a long time.

Now is the time to start paying attention.  

Link to Book by Helio Fred Garcia – Words on Fire

Who Will Win in November?
Jeff Greenfield has the Answer.
Is it Going to be Bugs or Daffy?

Jeff Greenfield, a nationally known political correspondent and analyst for four major television networks, has a fool-proof methodology for predicting who will be elected president. He forecasts, “To know who will win, keep in mind one clear consistent irrefutable rule: Bugs Bunny always beats Daffy Duck.” Greenfield goes on to explain with many examples, “The candidate who exudes the cool, savvy confidence of Bugs beats the one who projects Daffy’s tightly wound anger.”

Greenfield calls it the, “Having a beer after work factor.” Greenfield reminds us that, despite the hundreds, even thousands of polls and election models when you’re in that voting booth, you will look for the candidate who exhibits the Bugs Bunny factors and the winner of the election, even if you don’t drink beer.  

For the whole story see The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2024 print edition, “Who Will Win in November? Think Bugs vs. Daffy”.

Editors Comment: This may be the only truly funny, but serious idea in this entire 8-month election process. Read it, laugh, and get ready to tough your way to the polling booth on November 5th. Good luck.  

Jeff Greenfield’s quotes are taken from:
©2024 Dow Jones and Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Appeared in the March 23, 2024 Print Edition of the Wall Street Journal as, “Who Will Win in November? Think Bugs vs. Daffy.” 

We Will Get The Democracy We Deserve

One clear fact at the moment is that there will be one national election on November 5, 2024. Whatever the outcome we will get and live with what we deserve.

Another fact is that the outcome is likely to be one of only two possibilities. Each of these possibilities can be recognized by the language and behaviors of the candidates.

  1. The Candidate who defines democracy by the language of bullying, shaming, anger, retribution, score-settling, humiliation, shoulda, coulda, woulda’s done yesterday, with desperation, evil, and baseless attacks on Government institutions and officials.
    Or
  2. The Candidate who defines democracy using the language of greatness, building on past achievements, striving to continue, succeeding, optimism, and tomorrow.

The Vocabulary and Behaviors
of Desperation and Evil
Are Easily Felt and Recognized

AgitatingDespicable
AngerHorrible
Blame ShiftingSmall
Baseless AttacksStupid
BullyingTerrible
DemeaningUseless
DenunciationWeak
DisparagingLying
EvilMaliciousness
Hate FilledMeanness
HumiliatingThreats
LabelingVilification
AwfulWhining
CoruptWitch Hunting

Or,
The Vocabulary and Behaviors of Greatness
Are Equally and Easily Recognized

CompetenceInformative
CreativityInspiration
DignityKindness
DistinctionLeadership
DistinctiveMagnanimity
EnthusiasmMemorable
EthicalMotivation
FlashPerceptive
GenerosityRenown
GeniusRevelation
HumilitySpark
IdealismStateliness
IllustriousVirtue
ImaginationVision
InclusivenessWhismy
InfluentialWisdom
WorthWorthiness

Your Choice Will Be Very Clear

Code of Conduct For
Evil’s Troops and Followers

Their Creed:
Be Evil, Every Day, In Every Way

Required Daily Actions

a. Deeds, words or actions that vilify.

b. Deeds, words or actions that use sarcasm to ridicule, damage, demean, dismiss, diminish or humiliate.

c. Deeds, words, or actions that are arrogant, causing needless, intentional pain and suffering.

d. Deeds, words, or actions that intentionally, harmfully, and overbearingly express anger and irritation.

e. Deeds, words, or actions that are overly demanding and bullying.

f. Deeds, words, or actions that are just plain mean.

g. Deeds, words, or actions that insult, intentionally demean, minimize, and marginalize.

h. Deeds, words, or actions that become emotionally corrosive, disrespectful, and disparaging.

i. Deeds, words, or actions that are intentionally and maliciously tone-deaf.

j. Deeds, words, or actions that are mindlessly callous (without empathy).

k. Deeds, words, or actions that mindlessly injure.

l. Deeds, words, or actions that intentionally injure.

m. Deeds, words, or actions that spread baseless or contrived accusations and suspicion.

n. Deeds, words, or actions that exhibit overbearing and overzealousness.

What Kind of Country Do You Want?

PRSA BEPS in Davos in 2025?
Let’s Hope So.

As the 2024 Davos meeting in Switzerland closed, CNN did an in-person, on-air straw poll with a couple dozen global executives and other important people on the question of world society being prepared for AI issues.

CNN Straw Poll Results:

  1. World society is dangerously ill-prepared for AI issues and events.
  2. The vast majority were very optimistic about the potential for AI.
  3. Crucial issues and questions were cited.

Clearly, AI will remain a big-time issue throughout the year and undoubtedly occupy a prominent position in the Davos discussions of 2025. The Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) newest publication, “The Ethical Use of AI for Public Relations Practitioners” could play an important role in helping world leaders sort out just how this technology is going to be utilized, managed, and in some cases survived. Ethical Use of AI Document

Many of the AI issues mentioned at Davos are reflected in PRSA’s Ethical Use document.

Some very specific concerns voiced by those attending Davos:

Retraining employees to accommodate AI, equality, ethics, the public good, possible global cooperation, security, the power of the technology itself. AI effect on productivity, polarization, and others.

These topics remain on the world’s AI discussion table.

PRSA’S Crucial Contribution

“The Ethical Use of AI for Public Relations Practitioners” breaks down three of the most crucial areas of ethical response options.

  1. Adverse endpoints that arise from operational outcomes.
  2. Examples of improper use of AI.
  3. Guidance from an ethical perspective on proper AI use.

What’s Needed Between Now and Davos 2025

In my judgment, based on what I’ve heard and seen and now with the published results of Davos, it’s quite clear that industry leaders remain confused though enthusiastic, anxious, yet committed to maximizing what AI has to offer. They are however missing one critical component which needs developing: Fact-based recommendations and an operational and reputational risk assessment related to AI issues.

Proposed
Fact Based Recommendations
Based On
Operational, Reputational, Risk-Assessment, and Recovery Readiness
Draft
Table Of Contents for
Proposed Fact-Based Recommendations
  1. The specific and attributed warnings, from the tech companies, in bold letters.
  2. The dozen or so most disastrous, costly, and worst-case guesses all gathered together in a single exhibit to focus attention and fear as well as encourage risk recognition. (We do the Reputational Risk part.)
  3. Warning signs, danger signals, and potential risks. How we might begin to recognize prevent, detect, deter, maybe deflect a disaster before it occurs
  4. Data-based Recommendations for doable operational and reputational preventive readiness and post-adverse event response readiness.
  5. Operational response readiness by scenario
  6. Reputational response readiness by scenario
  7. Organizational readiness structured around essential operational concerns. Help the bosses get ready to prepare their employees with response saavy.

My two cents: PRSA has earned a seat in the Davos AI discussion 2025

Maybe The Tech Industry Deserves a Platinum Anvil?

With Just three words . . . “Leave it alone,” the tech industry globally mobilized thousands of companies, organizations, individuals, and industries. Like an experienced parent who wants their child to do something, or not do something, but might have difficulty persuading them, they simply say, “Don’t do . . . you name it” and it becomes a do-or-die mission. So it has become for AI.

Are these tech people brilliant, or are they really that smart? We may never know. What we do know is that thousands have been mobilized, and millions or billions are being spent and all in the quest to figure something out with little or no help from the tech industries who started all of this. Clearly, the tech industries deserve a prize of some kind.

Never have so few words mobilized so many human beings and a colossal amount of cash for what appears far less fearsome than forecast.

Typically, in such a huge venture, something called an “Operational and reputational risk assessment and fact based recommendations” would have been prepared. In the case of AI, since no one had any facts to go on, everything kind of got made up in a huge fiction like activity. Which has yet to yield much except sporadic anecdotal success stories. And one large failure that of Donald Trump’s former attorney using AI to generate what turned out to be fake legal references for a motion he was proposing in federal court.

That’s because, of course, the tech industry does not intend to share additional information until it’s in their interest to do so. During the last year, I have attended a number of policy-level discussions (people who own, run, and make crucial decisions in the organizations)  of AI and while organizations like PRSA were busy developing hypothetical situational responses based on zero facts and data, the tech companies were having a great success with “leave it alone.” Why spoil all the fun with facts?

In contrast, virtually every policy-level discussion I attended developed only a sketchy, fuzzy concept called things like, “Responsible AI.” The responsibilities were described in a list of words with little explanation: fairness, reliability and safety, privacy and security, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability. Sometimes described as core principles without much additional explanation. It’s still impossible to know what guidance is truly needed. We’ll need a few surprises and disasters to begin developing useful information.

It’s probably time for all of us to get back to work on our regular jobs and regular activities and await the inevitable catastrophes the media has predicted, always aiming for the worst-case scenarios. Where are the truth tellers when you need them most?

Some Dare Call It Reason. The US Supreme Court released it’s Impression of My Words. A code of conduct.

Much of my nearly 40-year career in communications involved codes of conduct, compliance, and grievance procedure development. Some observations.

  • The Supreme’s Impressions of a Code of Conduct contain five Canons, and with commentary is more than 5000 words. A Canon, in the Catholic Church, is an ecclesiastical rule or law enacted by a council or other competent authority and approved by the Pope.
  • In perspective, The Ten Commandments (in Exodus) is 313 words that, standing alone, have spoken more powerfully to the world for thousands of years, never really needing 50, 500, or 5000 words of explanation or interpretation. It got them anyway, but they don’t matter. Well, except for the George Carlin “Ten Commandments” version on You Tube . Funny but crude.
  • The Gettysburg address was 272 words.
  • The SCOTUS Toothless Code has five Canons, but no compliance, enforcement,or penalties for mistakes and intentional errors. The Catholic Church has 1752 Canons complete with penalties and punishments. Enforced by men purportedly representing God.
  • Look where their Canons got them.
  • Strangely missing from the SCOTUS Code are the who and how the Code is monitored rand enforced. Instead, it is explained that SCOTUS is more than just another court system, it is The Head of all courtm systems.
  • The SCOTUS introduction to its Code sounds a lot like the opening of a legal defense than setting conduct standards. It contains this phrase: “For the most part these rules and principles are not new.” Indicating that the entire document is suspect, guilt averse, and “Not New.” than setting conduct standards. It contains this phrase: “For the most part these rules and principles are not new.” Indicating that the entire document is suspect, guilt averse, and “Not New.”
  • Defendant statements like this one frequently contain “Not” statements where the “Not” usually precedes or succeeds a lie. “I am not a crook.”, “I did not have sex with that woman.”, “I am not a racist.”, you get the idea.
  • The Justice’s avoid setting behavior standards and absolute guidance by sprinkling the five Canons with mealy mouthed equivocation and uncertainties primarily using the word “should”.
  • Set Behavior Standards by replacing the words should, may, might, could, and would, everywhere in the five Canon’s document with will, must, or shall.:
    • Canon ONE: A Justice Should Perform. A Justice Should Uphold The Integrity And Independence Of The Judiciary. Why not, must, will, or shall?
    • Canon TWO: A Justice Should Avoid Impropriety And The Appearance Of Impropriety In All Activities. . Why not, must, will, or shall?
    • Canon THREE: A Justice Should Perform The Duties Of The Office Fairly, Impartially, And Diligently. . Why not, must, will, or shall?
    • Canon FOUR: Replace Should with must, will, or shall.
    • Canon FIVE: Replace Should with must, will, or shall.
    • To be credible, Codes set Behavior Standards by using clear language of accountability and authorize sanctions and penalties.
    • The net effect of the 5000-word SCOTUS Code commentary seems to ordain justices as Demigods, sort of deified mortals. In a democracy, it is the people who have the last word. Several concepts for Code oversight have been proposed. Recent Further revelations of long-time judicial impropriety and that of with their friends, family, and political associates dramatically illustrates the immediate need for this extra level of protection for our democracy.
    • The Supreme’s Troupe is operating like any large corporation in trouble. In the introduction, they advance an ex post facto explanation to demonstrate that they were in the right from the very beginning, and it is we who misunderstood. Oh, it’s our fault. This despite weeks and months of news stories where some of them are clearly in the wrong. Plus, we have suspected liars, during their confirmations, among the Supreme’s. It appears these individuals are still working for the person who appointed them and only part-time for the American people.
    • Surely, there should be a scale of penalties up to and including suspension and expulsion. When the Supreme’s can whittle this 5000-word tome down to one or two 8.5” x 11” sheets of paper, on one side double-spaced, including compliance requirements, some of the credibility they seek to re-establish may yet return. Most of the collateral language in the existing commentary can be boiled down to being an exculpatory and deflective exercise meaning, “Never mind, just trust us.” Trust but verify, yes.

    SCOTUS, in fact, acts as many of my large corporate clients have over the years when in trouble. They believe that producing an overwhelming amount of data (5000+ words?) demonstrates the truth of any position and the insidious falseness of the non-believers (many, many of us). They ignore the basic structure of truth, which in my experience is 15% facts and data. 85% is responding to the emotions of its audiences and victims who are responsible for the ongoing disappointedly low and declining levels of respect for SCOTUS. The court says we misunderstood. The court chooses negative condescension and condemnation as its defense against you and me.
    -It is we who are too stupid to understand what these omnipotent deities should be doing and working on.

    The Justices call their Code exercise a “codification.” In plain English? The translation: from the bureaucratic to self-forgiving obfuscation.

    Why do the smart ones in trouble always blame the victims (you and me) and question our intelligence? The answer is this pattern of misbehavior so prevalent these days at the top of things. This Code is an exercise in invincibility. Enabled by ignoring what it considers petty misbehaviors, then uses these mundane systemic personal leadership failures to justify even authorize their previously committed bad acts and subsequent misbehavior.

    Also see: “The Psychology Behind Unethical Behavior,” Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg, Harvard Business Review, 4/12/19. Her theory of omnipotence (invincibility), cultural numbness, and justified neglect is a truly original and invaluable insight into the misbehavior of powerful people.

    Republican Debate #3 Was Informative (Surprise)

    Trump’s absence allows a much better view of those he is about to defeat. The poling results in 2020 were a disaster (to quote someone we shall not name.) Please, remember, in American politics, nothing is certain until the votes are counted. The media still uses polls mixed together. Each poll alone is likely misleading and inaccurate.

    The media’s solution is mixing polls together. But, unlike a tasty midwestern hotdish, mixing polls keeps a small, fading industry alive and produces what? False hopes, misleading information, and confusion. Look for repeat polling failure in 2024. Notice the word Truth is missing from the media’s product list. Been gone a long time.

    What We Learned From The Third Debate

    Mr. Scott Departed.

    Mr. Ramaswamy Departed.

    Mr. Christie, sometimes makes sense, states the obvious, but you just can’t see him as a president. He may be younger than Biden, but he still represents yesterday. Is that where America wants to go?

    Mr. DeSanctimonious remains the self-declared better person than everyone else unless you are too stupid to see it. Hah! Even on television, his nose is so high it almost leaves the screen. His decline continues. He begs you to hate him. He wants to teach your children. That is scary.

    Mrs. Haley, New leaders are often discovered during controversy. This happened during Debate a viable/peaceful resolution to the abortion conundrum plaguing American politics for the last half century, amazing. Her numbers are up and , leading Mr. DeSanctimonious in some early primaries.

    Some Things Seem Certain

    • The primary season already underway is going to be long, with lots of fake, non-news, and phony information and predictions sold as “breaking news.” (The biggest lie in communications.)
    • CNN will reach 40 commercials per hour.
    • Heavyset sick people will continue dancing happily in television commercials (fromtheir residuals) for really expensive diabetes drugs. I have diabetes, I’m in the doctor’soffice frequently. I can assure you; no one is dancing in there.
    • Medicare Insurance Scams Must Be Stopped. The insurance vultures and crooks ledby formerly trustworthy movie, television and sports stars are out in force ripping offmillions of seniors selling unneeded Medicare advice, and needless extra insurance. Medicare was designed so that senior citizens could easily and conveniently get Medicarehelp and information from empathetic and helpful Government agencies. I am 82, I do know.
    • The Department of Justice needs to powerfully prosecute and penalize the Licensed insurance Agents and the celebrities who benefit if fraud is occurring.