Advocacy Is A Buzzword

Over the summer, I have been enrolled in doctoral courses to meet my educational requirements towards the completion of my Ph.D. in Public Policy. I have had the interesting ability to collaborate with various universities. During a recent conference call, we managed to discuss the particulars of research that we are currently engaged with or wish to pursue. Many students took a moment to review the various organizations they have been connecting or collaborating. There were discussions on how to better understand the perspective. Are the usefulness of information, advocacy, and how the organizational framework is useful towards a community or audience? One identifying issue kept repeating itself. That issue is that organizational fractures are common. Perhaps a reason that many causes or concerns never officially get off the ground is actionable working agendas, or motivational advocacy are too involved in personal issue or squabbles over petty things.

I too struggled over the past few months within organizations that, to me, seemed to be the best insightful methodology at quickly identifying issue or concern. What may be considered petty politics are often blown way over the proportion of the realities that either nobody cares or people are concerned with the microcosms of office politics. But a departmental professor brought up a very valid point that “advocacy is a buzzword that projects an interest mainly with one-sided viewpoints.” I had to let that sink in for a moment to grasp the concept. But perhaps the professor is right? Public policy, at least from my skill set, should be about the approach of balance from both sides. It doesn’t imply that I should discard my advocacy or belief systems. Instead, I should allow discourse to learn, strategize, but use compromise as a way to tweak towards results-driven deliverables.

There is much research, data, and scholarly information readily available if one looks deep enough. At times there may not be relevant data on a larger scale. But when I seek databases to drill down far enough, I can obtain the data to start something or allow an issue to expand by updating the results or findings. After all, that is, research in general.

What is missing from sex offender registry advocacy is professional quantitative research methods. Sure there are informational sites that show various statistical data, but rarely, are available by journal sites. However, for the sake of fairness, there is plenty of sex offense data from federal and state publications. While that particular data may be discouraging to sex offender advocacy, the data is credible and adequately peer-reviewed. But I pose this challenge to seek out a specified research method and bring that into the academic arena. Only then will that information become credible, listened, argued, and scholarly enough to gain traction. Perhaps this is why sex offender policy is stuck in the mud. There is only the emotional data rather than equity of research methods that may be introduced into an academic and shared among those that practice law?

Until state or local sex offender advocacy organizations begin to utilize comparative analysis and research methods within its structures, it will continue to fall upon deaf ears. Primarily because that particular data is a buzzword of credible information that fails to meet the credibility standard to the academic community. Now is time to begin shifting the burden of knowledge to scholars, professionals, and laypersons to deliver that message striking a chord of compromise and discourse.

When is our American Perestroika?

Recently President Trump introduced a replacement for the high court. I wasn’t anxious about who Trump selected. What I was a bit concerned and perhaps disturbed about was how the selection was made. Nearly a year ago today U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died. That left an open seat and plenty of time for a replacement to be introduced. Politicians like Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell blocked every pathway creating an obstruction from an Obama appointment. Fast forward to today, and the same leadership is claiming obstruction and delay by the Democratic Party. This is nothing more than politics as usual.

I think what bothers me the most about Washington politics is that the levels of obstruction and abuses of power. Most of all the lies or “alternative facts” that don’t ever seem to go away. For example, McConnell and Cruz once said that if Hillary Clinton were elected President that they would hold up any nominee. But if the Democratic party holds up a candidate that Trump will demand a nuclear option to force his choice. At this point in American politics, I don’t see the American people becoming divided. Instead, I view Congress is purposely dividing Americans and damaging the future of politics.

Ever since I can remember I was never supportive of congressional term limits. My reasoning was that term limits could potentially do harm to an efficient government. Today my attitude has changed because Congress has created an iron clad good old boy system that doesn’t have an ability to represent people. Instead, it serves selfish interests. Perhaps we should do away with the Electoral College system and replace it with a popular vote. Today’s politics no longer has a desire to maintain historical precedent and legislative compromise. Politicians are destroying the American fabric of democracy.

I am a citizen that agrees that our borders have some questionable holes. But I am also aware that companies are the ones that exploit those holes by illegally hiring undocumented workers. I am mindful of the fact that bureaucracy can be good for government. But aware that politicians abuse power for their own agenda. I know that there are checks and balances required of the people and government. But mindful of the fact that citizens enjoy popularism rather than democratic and fair law. Congress, in my opinion, is burning the bridges of democracy and the foundations of our society. I worry that at some point all these dominos will eventually fall leaving us somewhat similar to how Communism fell over a decade ago. Perhaps I am asking, “when is our Perestroika?”

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