Monday night’s Junta ended up with four participants, none of whom represented the financial industry. There was also a shortage of McCain supporters. This being the case, the discussion quickly became all about the prospects of an Obama victory and presidency, with little said about the economic crisis he inherits.
All were agreed that the race was over, and predicted 300+ electoral votes for Obama. Familiar issues of the campaign were touched upon, but the atmosphere was one of congeniality rather than contention, due to the like-mindedness of all involved.
While the meeting produced good conversation and new friendships, it hardly lived up to the Junta ideal of advancing new ideas. Partly this was due to the imbalance of opinions, and, I think, partly due to the election being a long and tiresome affair that all were glad to see coming to a close. However, discussions on the Junta itself were productive and will doubtless lead to some improvement in logistics and execution.
First of these is the importance of a discussion leader. As we wrote in the Manifesto, we aim to have designated individuals present their well-formed ideas to the Junta as arguments. Without this basic structure, the meetings easily devolve into regular social activity. The last meeting, on God or the absence thereof, was an example of a well-executed Junta. This meeting was less so.
Another point was the announcement of meetings. We have tried so far to be accommodating to people’s schedules and solicit their opinions about dates, times and locations. In the future we will be more firm on these things, announcing the details and encouraging participation, but letting the chips fall where they may. If you can make it, great; if not, hope to see you next time.
With that, our congratulations to President-elect Obama, and look for the next convening of the Junta around the beginning of December.