Is Texas the canary in the US coal mine?
Originally posted for USTomorrow on 21 February 2021
In the same week that NASA successfully delivered a helicopter to Mars, many Texans were without food, water, electricity, communications, and heat, enduring sustained, sub-freezing temperatures alone and in the dark.
How did this happen?
- The Mars project is run by scientists expected to build on facts and succeed against odds (and funding), look around corners and far down the road to anticipate any and all potential obstacles, and innovate to meet those unknowns.
- Texas government has too many parts run by either career politicians or political tourists more interested in the immediate trappings of office than the mechanics and potential of good governance by listening to career civil service experts in government.
Even as the helicopter payload descended to Mars, Texas leaders failed (and in some cases obfuscated and/or fled) in the face of a preventable and predicted catastrophe.
The question we face in Texas is echoed in communities across the country. What do we want our elected and appointed representatives to do? More partisan theater? Throw rocks at those who don’t think like them/us? Or do what’s required to keep the engine running — our economies intact, our families warm, our dreams within reach?
We’re entering a critical period of course correction at every level of government in the United States. In Texas, where accountability is a necessary and certain first step, we also need to examine our own expectations of public service and how so many of our representatives have been allowed to stray from the fundamentals of facts, civility, and governance. Although all politicians can’t be expected to be rocket scientists, at the very least they should be proficient in the rudimentary governing skills of foresight, communication, negotiation, and consensus.
Oh…and they should stay on the job during a crisis.
Next steps? It’s a multi-front challenge. Our broken political system must be mended to reflect the goodwill and perseverance of Americans. We have to reconcile and decrease the remoteness of the American Dream, introducing new infrastructure and fostering innovation every step of the way. And we’ve got to mentor the entrepreneurs, creatives, and builders who will launch the next American Century.
What are your thoughts on all this? Let me know by clicking here.
And, by all means, remember what my grandmother, born in 1915, would have said to us about this week. What would your grandparents have said?
I copied these ideas above on the web, click here to find the post we made on the internet and share it on social media.
Stay safe, stay warm,
PS — All that said, as an Aerospace Engineer from West Point, I was particularly proud of our Mars moment.