Scenario planning is a basic structure of preparation. While the full spectrum preparation mindset includes the fundamentals of physical supplies and invaluable skills, it also ventures into the broader realms of strategic evaluation. This expansion of focus can present significant obstacles to achieving maximum effectiveness. Since the stakes involve everything up to and including the future that we and our families will encounter, we must be aware of these obstacles as well as the decision-making parameters that will guide us in applying our full spectrum preparation mindset. The central question here is about control, and the central topic here is political perspectives.
Political realities are critically important, and we have no control over that fact. Like it or not, it is readily apparent that politics plays a significant role in determining the types of outcomes that we will need to prepare for. Of course, by default we should plan for the worst case scenario, but even so, the probabilities of various events will certainly be altered by the ever-shifting political winds. The current election cycle in the US has given us a first-hand encounter with both the importance of political outcomes and the uncertainty that can be created by the prospect of political disruption and divergence. It would be wise to avoid ruling out any scenario at this time, and the lack of clarity can be frustrating unless we acknowledge that it is unavoidable.
Moreover, we must accept that political outcomes are to a significant extent out of our control and that we don’t have universally accurate insight into what will take place politically in the future. This means that the scenario planning and probability analysis necessary for full spectrum preparation are components of the tricky side of the equation. While we shouldn’t view physical preparation, skills training, and networking as trivial or unnecessary by any stretch of the imagination, the level of complexity built into examining situations that we have no direct control over makes our efforts to understand and cope with various political situations much more taxing. Getting a water purification system set up is much simpler than figuring out exactly what would happen if Donald Trump became president.
When we come to terms with the fact that we are not in direct control of political outcomes, then we can begin asking productive and concrete questions about how to deal with the uncertainty and complexity. Figuring out what we do have direct control over is a good place to start. First, we have control over our own worldview, the lens through which we evaluate everything, in addition to the sources of information that we rely on. Those two aspects alone make a massive difference in terms of our decision-making when it comes to politics.
Finding and understanding the truth is indispensable to the full spectrum preparation mindset because it is impossible to prepare if you are not aware. In order to functionally address a variety of different scenarios, you must grasp the truth about those scenarios at all levels. One primary truth that has been confirmed via leaked documents during this election is the near total extent of the collusion between establishment media sources and establishment political operations. This pattern was clear for a long time for those with eyes to see, but now the explicit evidence is out in the open. Our political understanding must include the varying degrees of control and influence exerted by and on various groups and institutions. This attitude is particularly important in the case of the media because of its role in shaping public opinion. To put it simply: get your information from people who are reporting the truth rather than simply what someone tells them to say.
Once we can trust and verify the information that we are receiving, we cannot avoid bumping into the reality that America is being Balkanized. Those who would control the population can advance and reinforce their power through the tried and true divide and conquer technique. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book because of its effectiveness. While others may wield more influence than we do, we are at least in control of our own understanding that our nation is being divided by politics, worldview, religion, race, gender, ethnicity, age, education, income, and any other identifying characteristic where a separating distinction is possible. This current election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has elevated levels of ferocity and vitriol to radically unstable levels.
At this juncture it is important to make a few practical points about two critical things that are in our control: our emotions and our relationships. If we are overcome by strong emotions – particularly anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, and hatred – on a regular basis then we will not be able to make good decisions and our full spectrum preparation mindset will be handicapped. We’re looking at a situation that is tantamount to the Civil War in terms of intensity, rhetoric, and division. We are likely all familiar first hand with at least one scenario where political differences came between friends or family and damaged relationships permanently. Losing loved ones over something that is not in our control is a genuine tragedy, and this can even happen passively in this era if we continuously browbeat people on social media. Sometimes relationships can be tarnished or even ruined by something indirect like a publicly visible comment made to a third party. Long story short: politics is not worth it. If someone is set in their ways and won’t change their minds, then until that reality changes we must accept it and move on in order to preserve our relationships.
Last, we all must be prepared to seriously examine what many see as unthinkable this time around: an election result that isn’t what we wanted. This scenario will inevitably happen fairly soon to a large group of people. If you ever catch yourself saying ‘I don’t even want to think about it’, then chances are whatever you said that about should be something that you need to spend some time considering. Tonight different people across the country are having nightmares about the election results. Some of those nightmares are guaranteed to come true. The full spectrum preparation mindset can take on the uncomfortable political topics because it acknowledges that nightmares come to pass startlingly often throughout the course of history.
Come what may, in any circumstance we must focus on what is in our control and prepare accordingly.
- Ross Powell