Is Perfection the Enemy of Progress?

A vote is not a valentine, you aren't confessing your love for the candidate. It's a chess move for the world you want to live in.

The word “perfection” is actually about maturity and completeness, not a state of flawlessness as we usually assume. In many ways, the concept is a cancer that has caused untold personal suffering for those striving for what does not exist. It can also be cancerous in the political realm when seeking the “perfect” candidate prevents us from choosing the best candidate for the moment.

But how do we decide? How do we avoid making perfection the enemy of of the good? Of progress? First, we get informed. Seek and attend to independent, fact-based, credible news sources like TheWorkFM. Next, we avoid the trap of cynicism that arises from the “they’re all corrupt” attitude. Sometimes that can be a cop out that discourages necessary positive action. Finally, when it comes to political issues ask probing questions: which party or candidate represents (however imperfectly) positive, people-centered values? What values do they promote? What do their words and actions reveal about them? Which one promotes unity and which one sows seeds of division? What is their history?

We have seen that in difficult political times, many Americans respond by avoiding politics and voting. This may be an understandable response but it can be a dangerous mistake – especially in times of crisis. Democracy cannot exist without widespread participation. By contrast, sometimes those who are informed and active can be tempted into expectations of political perfection that end up alienating allies and preventing progress altogether.

If a home is on fire, is it not misguided to argue about who extinguishes it while it still burns?

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