The Difference Between Cooperation and Consensus

What many people don't get is that cooperation is not the same as consensus.  


Cooperation means someone takes the lead on an issue. If it makes sense, and if the leader is perceived to have good character and judgment, others follow.  Otherwise, the project is stillborn.  It's the way the market picks leaders.  Not through org charts, but through action and response.

One person may be the leader on one issue and a cooperator on many others.  Most people play both roles frequently.

Consensus, on the other hand, is the absence of leadership. 

Man’s Waning Days?

It’s easy to wonder whether humanity has simply grown weary of life.

These are mostly American issues, but we are are smart to remember that the USA is one nation among many. Our problems, as Rick Blaine might say, don’t amount to a hill of beans when the whole world is collapsing around us.

Walter Russell Mead’s blog post (h/t reminds us that we are not witnessing a normal business cycle

There are times when the ideas of the world’s rulers and the institutions through which they govern are adequate to the needs of the era, and there are times–like the present–when they are not.  It is not just the Obama administration that seems mentally and even culturally unprepared to understand much less to guide the events now sweeping through the world.  In Brussels, Beijing, Moscow, Tokyo and Delhi — to say nothing of Washington –  leaders seem equally clueless, equally committed to outmoded, inaccurate approaches to the issues of our time.


Mr. Mead’s analysis is far more important than the Wikileaks.  The unconscionable, but unspectacular, information found in the document dump by the degenerate international fugitive Julian Assange is a symptom of civilization’s unraveling, not a cause.

The world needs leaders. America’s special place on the world stage demands we send forth a special leader—one who rises above the others, but who does so humbly. America’s blessing bring burdens of world leadership, not the privilege of world domination.

Our next president must enter office with the tacit understand of our greatness, and an open-eyed acceptance of risks.  It’s not exaggeration to say the world is on the brink of a new dark age.  We are one rogue nuke away from an unthinkable regression. While that would delight the environmentalist left, it cause massive human death. It would threaten many species, not just our own.  Desperate, dying people couldn’t care less about nature. They care about living.

As we pause for Advent and the new year, think about whom you would trust to lead in such precarious times.  Who can guide, not just America, but the world between the threats civilization face?

Ronald Reagan is dead. Margaret Thatcher is elderly. The cast of the G20 are pygmies posing as serious men and women. The next great American leader, if one remains, must rise from among us.

Choose carefully.  But choose.  Don’t let the pygmy farmers choose for you.

A Different World

While we’ve been building the tea party, the world has changed.  Our world has changed.

  • Consumers consume less
  • Inflation is limited to food, fuel, and gold
  • Experiences and human connections are more important than possessions and promotions
  • Debt shifted from people and businesses to government—which means to all of us
  • The government took out a $48,000 loan in your name
  • Both major parties looked bad when we examined them

When the 112th Congress convenes, the priorities of February 27, 2009, may be irrelevant.  Be ready. Even if the old questions remain relevant, the context will have changed. 

Read Linchpin by Seth Godin before Congress convenes in January. Understand that the economy is not exactly as it was two years ago when Lehman Brothers fell. It’s not. And it won’t be.

Conservatism isn’t about hanging onto old stuff but hanging on to what’s permanent.  Wisdom means letting go of the unnecessary so you’re free to latch onto opportunity. 

We’ve asked for a chance to lead.  If we keep working hard, we’ll get it.  Be prepared. And don’t fool yourself into thinking you already have the answers. They changed all the questions.

Geek out on this

You’ll be glad you did.


This eighteen minute presentation synthesizes almost everything I believe about leadership and inspiration.

We own Why 

We believe that God's law trumps Man's, and that the Constitution trumps Congress. And the President. And the courts.  We believe that each one of us has the will and the capacity to dream our own dreams, live our own lives, and die our own noble deaths without government assistance or government contraints.  We believe that our destiny is just that: ours. 

And “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

We could use a man like John Fitzgerald Kennedy today. John Kennedy, who spoke of our “belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God,”  would surely be proud that a Boston tradition of rebellion against despotism lives on today all across our country.

So ask yourself why you do what you do.  Why do you believe what you believe.  And tell the world why you do and believe as you do.  The sound of freedom is irresistible: spread it far and wide.