I have come to the conclusion that even as pragmatic and reasonable people accomplish great things over the coming years of an Obama administration, all we will see and hear in the near future (both on- and off-line) will be the fringes hollering and screaming as their influence over the conversation is mitigated and contained.
We will hear the idiots from both parties who got us to this place in history justifying why the other person elected by 9% of their party’s voters in the average primary is actually responsible for the mess and not them. Perhaps it is my own story that made it possible, but I see a counter-narrative being played out at a few decibels below the Raging Right and Raging Left.
I feel we are in the process of making an evolutionary step that would have been impossible without our revolutionary roots.
Evolution is slower than revolution and may not be as satisfying after 40 years of battle, but it typically requires less ongoing maintenance than the changes wrought by violent means since it requires each of us to change. That’s not to say revolutions and heated rhetoric aren’t needed, but at a certain point getting to the next level requires evolution by all involved.
America has changed in fits and starts prompted by various catalysts. Sometimes with a revolutionary act. Sometimes with a whisper. But our most enduring changes are the ones that evolved over time, with the end always inclusive in nature and conciliatory in presentation, aimed at fixing the genetic flaw rather than examining the sum of its parts.
Evolution is never predicated on blaming the disease, rather it shows a deeper (and more objective) understanding of the limitation in need of correcting than revolution can provide.
I have heard recently that I don’t respect the ideologues place in the evolution of our country these last 230 years. I disagree. That is an incomplete understanding of what I have written. I think most of our evolutionary growth has come via revolutionary actions prompted by committed ideologues. But many of those revolutionaries becomes some of our greatest pragmatists and some never took the path of the ideologue at all but created enormous change through acts of charity for their enemies.
They took what was started as a revolutionary act and turned it into an evolutionary path.
The 40 years of progressive politics and ideological stands led to Barack Obama who seems to understand what is needed to complete what is now an evolutionary step. We took smaller steps over that time, but the final push for a lasting progressive society that leaves no one behind has eluded us. I think Obama has figured out a way to take a truly progressive agenda and sell it in a way no democrat has ever been able to Americans outside their core constituency.
This seems to be a key evolutionary understanding that America is missing that many in the Raging Right and Raging Left have characterized as somehow being cultish if recognized by Obama’s many supporters.
But that is the media environment we have always lived in, when the fight sells more papers than true understanding and transcendence.
Even Thomas Paine’s essays were read on every corner and in every bar room long before the ideologues of the day (right and wrong) understood the transformation that was taking place and used that knowledge to accomplish what none thought possible. What could have been his more influential piece of writing was tinged with just enough ideological certitude that led to Paine’s imprisonment at the hands of French revolutionaries snd ignominious end he endured in the country his words helped to create.
I think today’s practicing progressive ideologues, whom I agree with on most issues at their basic level and intent, are missing an opportunity to join the moderates in their party and understand the moment sooner rather than later, with all the positive benefits that would entail.
Just thought I would set the record straight on where I see Obama’s place in the scheme of things, what is mostly a matter of missed opportunities by some on the left and why I support Barack’s pragmatic progressive take on how this country must evolve to be sustainable and to start working for everyone.