Where Are the Adults?

Ian Mitroff
3 min readJun 2


I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

If ever we needed Adults to address our most serious problems, the time couldn’t be greater. Seeing the Big Picture and acting in accordance with the Greater Good are the true signs of maturity. Childish pranks and attitudes only make things worse.

The most recent crisis that loomed over virtually everything was the Potential Failure of Congress to Raise the Debt Ceiling. [Yesterday, after this article was written, the Senate passed the bill to raise the debt ceiling.] Without raising it, the U.S. would be unable to pay its bills. The specter alone of a Default is enough to send jitters through the Stock Market. An actual Default would be an utter catastrophe. The harm it would cause is unimaginable.

Yes, one can talk about legitimate spending cuts, but to hold the Economy hostage is the height of irresponsibility. To threaten Social Security and Medicare is criminal.

Yes, I realize that Republicans think that Democrats are the ones acting like children. But forcing work requirements on the poor for whatever meager benefits they receive is nothing less than a story straight out of Dicken’s England with its deplorable Poor Houses. The poor are burdened enough without causing them more harm.

The Economy is of course just one of the serious problems facing us where Adults are sorely needed. Thus, the Abortion wars are not far behind in commanding our attention.

In particular, writing in The New York Times, Michelle Goldberg details the awful plight of women who are denied Abortions in Texas[i]. In addition to passing Laws that make Abortions virtually impossible thereby forcing women to carry babies to term that will die as soon as they are born, Pro-Lifers are guilty of spreading the most vicious lies. Namely, they falsely charge that Doctors refuse to administer Abortions in order to cast a negative light on the Anti-Abortion movement. And this when the movement has done everything it can to make the provision of Abortions a crime. No wonder why Doctors are so fearful of supplying them.

This is not to say that Liberal Democrats always act like adults. Unfortunately, there’s enough childishness and immaturity to go around. Nonetheless, I still believe that Liberals are more open to Reason, thereby more capable of acting like grownups. Many will say that this is just my bias, and therefore my childishness.

Notice however that admitting one’s childness is one of the signs of maturity!


According to Kathy Plate of UntraViolet, the chances that CVS and Walgreens will cave into the pressures from Anti-Abortion groups and no longer offer Mifepristone are uncomfortably high. The fact that the drug is both safe and effective makes it a clear target of the Right.


[i] Michelle Goldberg, “Texas Tortures Pregnant Women Who Need Care,” The New York Times, Tuesday, May 23, 2023, P A21.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His most recent are: Techlash: The Future of the Socially Responsible Tech Organization, Springer, New York, 2020. The Psychodynamics of Enlightened Leadership; Coping with Chaos, Co-authored with Ralph H. Kilmann, Springer, New York, 2021. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid 19, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash



Ian Mitroff