There is a mistaken notion deeply embedded in our national political dialogue that society is naturally divided into public and private sectors. The public sector is thought of as the vehicle for governing society and looking out for the common good. The private sector is where people merely look out for themselves.
Not surprisingly, this view is promoted aggressively by those in the public sector. In this false view of the world, governing is the responsibility of government alone. The vast majority of Americans who work and live in the private sector are told they should study the issues, get involved in campaigns and vote. After that, the political elites want us to get out of the way and let the so-called experts run things.
In the real world, however, every relationship and organization plays a role in governing society. Our spouses, close family members and friends play key roles in holding us accountable. They also support us, encourage us, guide us and lend a helping hand when needed.
Moving beyond the family circle, our commitments to employers and community groups play important roles in our lives but also in terms of governing society. They often exercise authority over us and exert a significant influence over…