The *Other* Reason America Needs Honest Elections

Everyone understands one reason why honest elections are important: to be able to choose representatives we trust and respect. Without free and fair elections we could (hypothetically) wind up with unscrupulous leaders, unconcerned with the country and even less the people in it.

But election integrity is still more crucial to maintain the peace. The purpose of elections is less to anoint the winners than to assuage the losers. Fair and open elections provide an opportunity for all to have their say, even run for office, and have a fair chance to prevail. …


An impartial perspective on US elections

Our Election Integrity Google group was recently interviewed for a Politico Magazine feature, What Happened to the Democrats Who Never Accepted Bush’s Election.” Author Joanna Weiss shows that once people come to see the U.S. election system clearly, trust in it is about as likely to return as a child’s belief in Santa Claus once that is understood as fantasy. She then asks an important question overlooked by the rest of the national media,

‘What happens now that that tens of millions of Trump supporters no longer believe?’

I offer an answer, but first I address several issues raised in…


The *Other* Reason America Needs Honest Elections

Everyone understands one reason why honest elections are important: to be able to choose representatives we trust and respect. Without free and fair elections we could (hypothetically) wind up with unscrupulous leaders, unconcerned with the country and even less the people in it.

But there is also another reason election integrity is crucial which ought to be apparent now even if it wasn’t a few months ago. Elections are the way to peacefully resolve differences in a democracy.

Elections are important to anoint winners, but even more important to assuage the losers and thereby maintain a civil society. Fair and…


Author Contact information:

Thanks to:

Steve Axelrod, Marc Sokol, Irene Freeman, Dominick Volini, and Harrison Adler for helpful comments on drafts of this article, and Harrison Adler for also providing editing help.

Notes

[1] See especially:

  • Bion, W.R. (1962). Learning from Experience, London: William Heinemann. [Reprinted London: Karnac Books,].
  • Bion, W.R. (1963). Elements of Psycho-Analysis, London: William Heinemann. [Reprinted London: Karnac].

Both reprinted in Bion, W.R. (1977). Seven Servants. New York: Jason Aronson Inc.

[2] Edvard Munch, 1893, German title: Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature), Norwegian title: Skrik…


Marc Maltz and Steve Freeman

In a pandemic, physical hygiene becomes a #1 priority. But current conditions present extensive challenges to psychological hygiene. Organizations depend on psychological well-being to enable focus at work, team functioning and action in the interest of the whole. Yet few take psychological hygiene seriously and fewer still do all they should.

In the aftermath of 9/11, we developed a practice of psychological containment to enable organizational functioning under extreme conditions. Since then, we’ve worked with dozens of organizations both amidst crises and in periods of relative calm. …


* Thanks to Darshi Mody, Laura Freeman and John Ervin for helpful comments and feedback on this article.

If you would like to preview upcoming articles, please leave a comment or send me a note.

The story of Sandler O’Neill: Links to research gate project, Jefferson articles, Crisalis SO page.


The Secret to Sandler O’Neill’s Almost Unbelievable Resurrection from the Ashes of 9/11 Devastation

9/11 Memorial Lights with Statue of Liberty by Brian E Kushner

By Steve Freeman and Marc Maltz

From top to bottom, America has been mostly rudderless in the current crisis. There’s more than enough hot air about real and purported failure at the top. But pitter patter towards a President masks lack of leadership and outright failure up and down the system. Including most of us.

Want leadership? Then we need to make it happen within our sphere of influence, which is where it matters. At work and in our communities, we need to support real leaders. Become leaders ourselves.

Unfortunately, the dearth is deep. Most of us are so distracted…


Thanks to Darshi Mody, Burton Freeman ,Tom Guggino, David Sternman, Laura Digilio, Jennifer Wilson, Orin Davis, Larry Starr, Clarissa Libertelli, Paul Lehto, John Ervin, Scott Yarosh, Joe Libertelli and Aurora Casta for helpful comments and feedback on this article.

Link to Article

[1] Write to me at sf@alum.mit.edu.

[2] Seib, Gerald F. Wall Street Journal. “In Crisis, Opportunity for Obama” Nov. 21, 2008. Rahm Emanuel was at the time President-elect Obama’s incoming White House Chief of Staff.

[3] In some ways, lockdowns simply propel forward practices that were already widespread years ago (5 million US remotely workers as of 3…


“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” ~Rahm Emanuel²

Footnotes and references
Footnotes and references

One disheartening aspect of the current crisis is a widespread lost sense of agency both for individuals and organizations – a loss accepted as an unfortunate, but unavoidable cost of controlling a pandemic, and one barely worth noticing or commenting on. We’re at the mercy of events that are difficult to understand. In light of risk to life and health, we must all make sacrifices. We’re told there’s little to do…

Steven F. Freeman

Expertise: crisis preparedness, resiliency, innovation, research methods & applications. Faculty Jefferson, UPenn+. PhD MIT. Advising industry, govnt, orgs, YOU

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