“Interests” was a friend’s response to the topic of the meeting: “How can we get Democrats to talk to Republicans?”
“Nice work”, I thought of directing the discussion in the direction of “procedure” and away from the two agreed topics that were “inadmissible” at our first and only meeting: politics and religion.
Recently, a friend of mine, a golfer and writer, invited the other three of us “golfer-writers” (or “writer-golfers” for a few weeks) to a breakfast meeting where the restaurant otherwise overlooks the city golf course. We weren’t sure why we should meet, but casual conversation generated enough mutual respect that we agreed to meet again.
When our second meeting began, I quietly said, “Phew,” when my friend’s response was “Interests”, followed by his involvement in some studies and examples that support the theory that negotiations begin with “positions” , were not conducive to reaching agreements.
However, both parties who started with their “interests” were much more likely to reach a mutual interest agreement. I added that this is in line with my experience for our 29 collective agreements. We decided to take the risk of violating the National Labor Relations Act, as well as my risk of being held responsible if that approach didn’t result in agreement management: I suspect the unions’ collective bargaining boards have faced similar problems. We have used personal credibility and training to build the trust necessary for what we call “mutual interest” negotiations. The result was not just agreements, but agreements that worked for everyone.
When people act according to their “interests,” consider what the actions of decision-makers in the White House, whoever they are, indicate their interests.
1. What are the White House interests in pipelines if it closes the Keystone in the US but approves the one that transports oil from Russia to Germany? Taking the two decisions together will eliminate interest in climate change or the environment while denying the US the safest means of transport for oil and gas. Is there any other way than helping Russian and German citizens and harming US citizens?
2. What are the White House interests in reducing US drilling to meet energy needs by sending taxpayers dollars to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, bringing the average gallon price to over went up a dollar? Does the White House say drilling in other countries won’t harm the climate or the environment?
3. What are the White House interests in building walls between countries when it stopped the US prepaid wall with Mexico while sending tax money to help Tajikistan build a wall to prevent unchecked entry from Afghanistan ?
4. What are the White House interests in open borders when it opened the southern one but closed the one with Canada?
5. What are the White House interests in vaccination when this year it is estimated that more than two million unvaccinated migrants will allow more than two million unvaccinated migrants to migrate from Mexico to the US and contaminate the border patrol, causing an estimated 25% of the patrol to COVID -19 have? – before exposing the US military and private contractors to these COVID carriers to secretly transport them to mostly red states?
How about vaccinations for federal employees but not for members of the executive or Congress?
6. What interest does the White House have in leaving Afghanistan on a predetermined date rather than meeting the needs of its soldiers and allies? What interest does the White House have in keeping all taxpayers’ military equipment in Afghanistan for the Taliban?
7. What are the White House interests in seeing Dr. Fauci speaking to us about COVID-19 after his own emails show he was instrumental in funding COVID-19 research before lying to Congress about it? Does this White House think its lies to Congress are less grave than the alleged FBI lie that caused a war of attrition against Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, and others?
8. What are the interests of the White House 18 months after COVID hit the US that Dr. Fauci and others continue to use studies from Israel and India instead of having the CDC, NIH, or some other US agency conduct their own studies?
9. What are the White House interests in allowing the Vice President to travel to California to promote the governor instead of assuming her responsibility for the border? Same question for the presidential campaign trip to California.
10. Finally, what are the interests of the White House in trying to pass a bill that will spend an estimated $ 5.5 trillion – 26% of the $ 20.43 trillion of GDP in 2019 – what is in addition to the “normal” GDP expenditure during the inflation rate? for 2021 is already +6.3% if the ideal rate is 2.2%?
Do you think the interests of the White House should make the lives of you or other US citizens better?
It is a shame that the party that promised to unite avoided not only “mutual interest” negotiations but even “positional” negotiations. Hell, even four golfer writers understood immediately that it was necessary for the Democrats to look after a little less than half of the voters who voted for the “other” party in order to “bring the Democrats to the Republicans.” May I suggest that they would benefit from more time on the golf course, like, well, you know who?
If you disagree with the interests of the White House, you should consider contacting your elected officials and encouraging them to negotiate mutual interests.
Brent Zepke is a lawyer and writer based in Santa Barbara. He was a faculty member at six universities and numerous specialist conferences. He is the author of six books: “One Heart-Two Lives”, “Legal Guide to Human Resources”, “Business Statistics”, “Work Law”, “Products and the Consumer” and “Law for Non-Lawyers”.
Brent E. Zepke
The author lives in Santa Barbara.