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Flexibility Is Progress & Life

Last week I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

On my Facebook that evening, I saw a number of reactions to the speech from both moderate and liberal Democrats, from Green Party supporters, from Occupy Wall Street backers and from socialists.

The Democrats all liked the speech, while some of my friends further along on the left had reactions ranging from partial approval to scorn.

This is all fine with me. While I am not President Obama’s most ardent supporter, I am on the side of all good people who want to  help move our great nation to the left.

There is no point in a rigidity that excludes people on our side of the aisle.

Here is the entirety of  chapter 76 of the Stephen Mitchell translation of the Tao Te Ching

Men are born soft and supple;

dead, they are stiff and hard.

Plants are born tender and pliant;

dead, they are brittle and dry.

This whoever is stiff and inflexible

is a disciple of death.

Whoever is soft and yielding

is a disciple of life.

The hard and stiff will be broken.

The soft and supple will prevail.

Yet–of course–we must move in a hopeful direction and this does require at the least a measure of coordination.

The good news is that different sets of tracks can lead in the same direction. We see this in picture below of railroad tracks that I took in Houston last year.

There are multiple tracks, but they merge.

See who your friends and allies are and see the good in them. Focus on where you agree and move forward.

We can be both flexible and focused on a common goal.

By |2012-01-31T21:54:59-04:00January 31st, 2012|Domestic Issues, Other Political Thoughts|1 Comment

The Best Possible Iowa Results

The Iowa Republican caucus has been a time suck to follow and leaves you with the impression that Iowa is filled with mean-spirited nuts.

(Above–Cornfield  in Newton, Iowa. Every place has all types of people.) 

Yet Obama carried Iowa in 2008.  To the extent that voting for Obama is a progressive act, Iowa is not –taken as a whole– a right-wing place.

You have to know what is going on with the news of the day. At the same time, it is important to focus on what your own side can do better, and on generating your own content so that the narrative of your life–and the lives of the people on your side of the aisle–can be imagined and constructed by friends rather than by foes.

The best result of the Iowa Republican caucus would be if many of our fellow citizens resolved to work to keep any of the candidates in that caucus from ever reaching the White House.

Another strong result would be the understanding that we don’t have sit around and just watch this junk on TV. We can help shape our own futures with our own actions.

The Occupy Wall Street patriots who protested both Republicans and Democrats in Iowa get this concept.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

By |2012-01-03T21:00:10-04:00January 3rd, 2012|Elections|Comments Off on The Best Possible Iowa Results
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