immigration. inflation. immunization. benefit. insurgency. intolerance. infrastructure. Isolation. International relations. Iran. Iraq. individual rights. barren. Prison. Bad weather. Iron curtain. legacy. Deactivation.

It’s interesting how many of the world’s challenges begin with the letter “I.” It is worrying that each of these “killers” could make America’s problems worse if we do not work together to find solutions.

For generations, team sports players at all levels – from Little Leaguers to Shaquille O’Neal – have liked to say that there is no “I” in the word team.

Those little leaders and great Aristotle, as Shack once called himself, are right. The “I” mentality can destroy the cohesion necessary to build a winning team. Unfortunately, Team America faces three “I” problems in particular that are tearing this nation apart: Isolation, fanaticism and inflation. Look at the effect they have on us and everything we love.

Let’s start with Isolation. In 2000, Robert Putnam’s book bowling alone Famously discover how Americans are becoming increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures. The pandemic has exacerbated these trends. In recent years, we’ve developed an entire ecosystem of tactics and technologies β€” ZOOMs, remote work, face masks, Uber Eats, video streaming β€” that encourage separation rather than collaboration.

Even before the pandemic, a YouGov survey found that 30 percent of millennials felt lonely and 22 percent said they “have no friends.” Americans of all ages are increasingly likely to say they have no friends with different political views.

Isolation isn’t just an individual phenomenon either; It is a growing part of a national psyche fueled by xenophobia and arrogance.

Our increasing isolation fuels the second “I”: intolerance. I wonder if people realize how informal we have become in dehumanizing and demonizing people for their political affiliation. A 2019 survey found that more than 2 in 5 people in each of our political parties view opposition as an “absolute evil”. When asked if they thought β€œwe would be better off as a country if large numbers of the opposition party died in the public today,” 1 in 5 answered yes!

In a recent speech, commentator Barry Weiss captured the mood in too many parts of our country when she said, β€œPersuasionβ€”the purpose of argumentβ€”is being replaced by public disgrace. Moral complexity is being replaced by moral certainty. Facts are being replaced by sentiment. The rule of law is being replaced by mob rule.” .

Isolation And the intolerance It is a combustible mixture on its own. But now, they both feed on the third "I": inflation. The cost of goods and services has gone up faster than at any time in the past four decades and people are worried about it. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association shows that more adults rate inflation as a major source of stress than any other issue in their 15-year history of the "Stress in America Survey".

Inflation is not only a threat to people's money and mental well-being. Historically, when inflation has been bad enough for long enough, it destabilizes society and upsets democracies. Over the past three or four decades, inflation seemed to be under control because it primarily affected luxury goods Now that inflation affects such basic items as food, fuel and medicine, it has become Americans' number one concern.

This "killer ego" may be different from one another, but each one is made worse by our elected leaders' unwillingness to seek consensus rather than political supremacy. Today, most issues before Congress are presented as a take-or-leave motion. Once the quiet Supreme Court hearings β€” which concluded in 1986 with conservative Antonin Scalia receiving a 98-0 vote in the Senate and in 1993 with Liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg acquitting Chamber 96-3 β€” were a partisan brawl. When Democrats and Republicans came together in the 1990s to pass the Balanced Budget Act, today they take turns passing partisan bills that have increased our national debt beyond $30,000,000,000,000, which is greater than our GDP. We place an unreasonable burden on our children and grandchildren today even as we ignore the basics that can ensure prosperity tomorrow. Jobs are vacant due to the lack of a convincing immigration policy, which, when combined with a sound education policy, gives America the most powerful workforce in the world at all skill levels. Our elected officials were elected to improve our quality of life, not to stop progress from happening.

I don't know of any easy fixes for Three I. But I know it will take Americans to elect more leaders who embrace the Three C's.

The first is Good luck.

In Washington, our elected officials attack, undermine, and double down on the other side and justify it using the same excuses kids use in playgrounds:

"They hit me first."

A classic example of this is the years-long effort to undermine the Senate's blocker, one of the last remaining barriers forcing Democrats and Republicans to work together. In 2013, Democrats overturned the use of deactivation for all presidential candidates except for the Supreme Court. In 2017, Republicans responded by eliminating stalling for Supreme Court nominees. Now of course, some Democrats want to eliminate disruption altogether, which means that each party will then have the ability to jam through far-reaching legislation with only 51 out of 100 votes when in power.

Here's a radical idea: Instead of planning new ways to work against each other, what if our leaders faced the challenges of compromising and working with each other?

Which brings us to the second C: cooperation. For all the dysfunction in Washington, there is still a critical mass of leaders practicing the give-and-take required to pass bipartisan legislation. So, while the louder, more angry voices in Washington continue to gain reservations on TV shows and attract the most Twitter followers, it is a quieter group of bipartisan leaders who are actually making a difference. Over the past two years, bipartisan House and Senate coalitions, working with the White House, have managed to pass the largest infrastructure bill since President Eisenhower created the Interstate Highway System, the most important federal gun safety bill since 1994, and great economic competitiveness . Bill invests in cutting edge research and domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

When leaders embrace good lucksecond abbreviation cooperationThey are creating more of the things that are missing in America right now: Confidence.

Throughout American history, our best leaders have always exemplified and instilled confidence that tomorrow will be better than yesterday, and that the people who lead this country and our institutions have an upscale vision and strategies for where we're headed. The greatest confidence-building factor is voting - reaffirming our belief that we have a stake in our destiny and our fortune. Without a vote, we become sheep.

Whether my great-grandfather risked it more than a century ago to bring our family here from Ukraine, or today's female entrepreneur is saving her savings to grow her business, or the agricultural worker looking for an opportunity for her family, Confidence In the future always push America forward.

Three, I'm chasing our country. Isolation, bigotry and inflation - Fatally serious. But we have within ourselves to conquer them all if we reject the ideologues and extremists who will make all our problems worse. In this year's midterm elections, and in the years to come, I hope we'll rise and rally behind leaders who know it Reconciliation, cooperation and trust It is the only way out of the massive chaos that can destroy us.

If we do not pay attention to what our eyes are telling us, we will have to add one final β€œI” - in trouble.