To settle for either political party’s simplistic and typically emotional explanation, describing the necessity and/or consequence of acting on (or not acting on) any number of significant issues facing this country is unwise and lazy. While ignorance can indeed provide a fleeting moment of bliss, that particular “vacation from reality” always comes with a price when invariably the “rent comes due.”

I think a good first step in an attempt to behave more effectively might be to create a spreadsheet list of the top 10 or 20 issues we face (one for the state and another for the nation). Add a column for a brief “technical/factual” explanation. Another two columns labeled Dem and GOP (Dem column to the left of GOP, of course). And finally, add three more columns labeled “common ground,” “compromise” and “next steps.”

Then give it to five different teams of high school students i.e. HS #1, HS #2, etc. Ask each team to research and complete the spreadsheet. Schedule a time to have each team present a 20-minute explanation of their choices, their decision-making process, and the reasons behind the choices they made, in a kind of a “bake-off” that gets recorded and archived. (Maybe the Dalios could contribute some sort of reward for the high school(s) making the best presentations.)  Then share the archived video with all of Connecticut’s House and Senate members, the governor and his team, and any other “political” decision-making body in the state.

I believe an effort like this would be a valuable first step and ultimately result in a number of different benefits for all, not the least of which would be important insight and potential solutions from the generation we’ve saddled our current array of debilitating problems with — including the apparent inability on the part of our politicians to think and act logically in support of the “greater good” without which we are all destined for demise.

Howard Horvath lives in West Haven.

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