Quality, Politics, and Parties

Uncle Sam asking people to vote

We demand quality in every aspect of life, from the food we eat to the cars we drive. We demand quality in government as well. But quality in government is not the same as quality in politics. What do we want in politics, and in political parties, and how do we get it?

By Mark Harris


Quality is the ultimate reason for existence in any organization. It doesn’t matter how many patients a hospital sees, how many widgets a manufacturer makes, or how many planes an airline owns if the patients get sicker, the widgets break, and the planes can’t fly. Doing one task well will get a man a job. Doing 1,000 tasks poorly will not.

Politics is one area in which we probably don’t think enough about quality. What is a quality candidate? What are quality elections? What is the best process to choose between candidates? What should a high-quality campaign look like? Who decides? This article will delve into quality and politics, in the hopes of increasing the quality of our political system.

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The Balanced Scorecard and the Republican National Committee

19th century picture of young Abraham Lincoln

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has struggled to capitalize on some big advantages in the elections of 2018, 2020, and 2022. The Balanced Scorecard is a widely used tool to help businesses, non-profits, and governmental organizations achieve their goals. Perhaps by looking again at their operations, the RNC can prevail in 2024.

By Mark Harris


The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a proven tool for organizational evaluation, strategy, and improvement. Typically, it includes factors such as “financial,” “customer,” “internal processes,” and “learning and growth.” According to Blocher et al., 2021, BSC financial goals include increasing profitability, growing revenue, and reducing costs. BSC customer satisfaction goals address improving the profitability of each customer, raising customer satisfaction, and reducing the time required to fulfill a customer’s desire. Internal process goals would be improving quality and productivity. Finally, learning and growth goals should focus on developing employees, using technology more effectively, and communicating strategy better to all stakeholders.

The BSC was developed in the 1990s, and since then has been adopted by thousands of organizations in a wide variety of fields. The BSC has found a home in the public sector, as I used it in the US Army Medical Department for over 20 years. Miller, 2017 wrote that the public sector, especially when reelection depends on organizational performance, has widely adopted performance measures such as the BSC. Private sector companies of all sizes have capitalized on the BSC, and it has proven itself valuable in non-profit organizations as well.  I worked in the past with the Republican National Committee (RNC), so this work will discuss how the BSC might look in the context of the RNC.

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Southern Baptist Disaster Relief

SBDR Truck and Trailer

The state of Vermont endured historic flooding in July 2023, the worst since Tropical Storm Irene hit the landlocked state in 2011. Rivers overflowed, with the Winooski in Montpelier cresting at 21.02 feet, the highest since 1927.[1] Two people died, including one hiker on the Appalachian Trial.[2] Local police, fire, and emergency medical services responded, as did the National Guard from Vermont and the surrounding states. The American Red Cross arrived to provide shelter and other services.

Other groups came to Vermont to help, but with much less fanfare, including the Samaritan’s Purse, Salvation Army, and Billy Graham’s chaplains. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief sent hundreds of volunteer responders to help flood victims recover. I joined the West Virginia team in Barre VT, from 23 to 29 July. Led by Ron W and supported by Roy P. (SBDR’s incident commander), our group of eight tackled recovery jobs throughout the region.

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Taxes in the Bible

The Bible has much to say about, and many examples of, taxes. God’s plan for taxation in ancient Israel was compassionate, effective, and limited. Modern thinkers, policy makers, and voters would do well to move American, Western, and world tax and government policies closer to what our ancestors would recognize.

By Mark D. Harris

Governments, like people, have always tried to procure as many resources as possible from everywhere they could. Resources ranged from beautiful things (seashells, beads, precious metals, precious stones) to products (grain, wine, cotton) to labor (forced labor, slavery). Taxation is, by definition, involuntary. Freewill offerings, such as what the Hebrews gave to build the tabernacle (Exodus 35:20-35), are not included in this discussion.

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