Imagine for a moment you are on a bus trip.

Driving the bus is somebody who has never driven a bus before. But he seems very confident that he knows how the bus works and where it is going.

Helping him navigate are two old-timers who have seen it all before. While they haven’t driven this bus in particular, they have been around a lot of buses in their time.

One of the old-timers is so confident he knows everything about buses, he starts tinkering with the bus as the trip commences, thinking he can get more mileage and more efficiency from it.

The other old-timer is convinced that this bus trip is essential for the future of all mankind, and his confidence is infectious.

At the start of the trip, about 25 percent of the passengers are really unhappy to be on the bus to begin with, don’t like the direction the bus is going and are starting to loudly squawk that the bus driver should be impeached.

But 75 percent of the passengers feel that this is the right trip, with the right bus, at the right time.

And so the journey starts, and at first, things go well. There are no traffic jams, the weather is great, and the open highway is straight and true.

But then the bus starts running into trouble. The traffic gets heavy, the road gets rough, the directions get muddled, the weather gets menacing.  Pretty soon, the driver seems to be driving in circles, the old-timer’s tinkering has made the bus slower, not faster, and more and more of the passengers are wondering about the other old-timer. Is he crazy?

As time passes by, and as the bus trip continues forward, the weather only gets worse, the bus seems lost, and the bus driver seems to have no idea where he is going.  And of course, he won’t pull off the road and ask for directions.

Pretty soon, the malcontents have poisoned the atmosphere in the bus. Now fully 70 percent of the passengers are lobbying for a change in direction. They have voted in a group that they call the “Back Seat Drivers” to take control of the navigation of the bus.

But once the Back Seat Drivers are elected, they can’t seem to reach agreement amongst themselves. Some want to turn around now; others want to turn around only if they don’t reach their final destination by a certain milestone; others want to destroy the bus.

And in the meantime, the bus driver, sensing some unease in the back of the bus, kicks the tinkerer off and gets a new guy to help him navigate. This new guy seems to know more about the make and model of this bus, and seems to have better intelligence about the bus. He is realistic about the final destination but believes with a little patience the bus might actually make it. In other words, he is a real pro.

Of course, that is not enough for the radicals. And now they are turning on the Back Seat Drivers whom they helped elect and who are doing nothing to turn the bus around.

The questions today are, How much longer will this bus ride go on? Can the bus hold up? Will the bus ever gets to its final destination? It’s hard to find an answer to those questions.

But three things are clear. First, the Back Seat Drivers have no idea where they want to go or how they want to get there. Second, the bus is in better shape with a realist as its navigator. And third, it would be a shame to turn around now and go back to where we started when we may be close to getting to where we need to go.