What if our calling as people who have been set free is to begin making radical changes to the way we operate within political culture—from the inside? What if we start in Congress? What if all of those changes are driven by a deeper knowledge of freedom? What if instead of letting the status quo beat us down, we set to work bringing healing?
Our theme for Issue 007 is A Creative Pursuit. We opened with ideas from a current Legislative Correspondent on how to bring creativity into political culture, including more collaboration and a better work-rest balance. We continued the issue by talking about taking risks, including no more manipulating through fear. But what if we take these ideas a step further?
The story of the Wright Brothers from Dayton, Ohio is filled with ideas of consequence for the culture of Capitol Hill and American politics today. And so for today’s journal, we will examine their story, drawing conclusions for our work in politics that will help us bring creativity and truth and beauty into our work.
Taking risks on Capitol Hill, and doing so by rethinking how we live out our faith in Jesus would be dramatic. We’ve noted in prior weeks a congressional staffer’s ideas of more collaboration and a better rhythm of work and rest. I’ll add a third: no more using fear as a motivator. Each of these would require an element of risk, but they also present new opportunities.
Let’s be honest: the primary goal, broadly speaking, of congressional offices is for the Member to get re-elected. Re-election demands the safety of what’s been done before, of what worked the first time. The job of representing shifts towards keeping the peace, and we lose a deeper understanding of what it means to govern well with the time we’ve already been given.
What first drew me to politics was the idea of creatively solving big problems facing our world. However, as most would guess Capitol Hill is a far cry from a creative Mecca. Although changing this culture will be a slow process, I am going to highlight a few steps offices can take to encourage creativity and ultimately foster an environment that produces meaningful change within our nation.