This is from an email conversation I’m having with a buddy of mine. His side is very interesting as well, but I haven’t asked him for permission to post. So this is just me. We’re chatting about what the left needs to do in order to overcome the religious right juggernaut in the future.
My thing about the religious right is that it is a self-perpetuating system. Like a whirlpool, it may not have a large impact quickly, but once ensconced, few escape.
The left is not like that. It is very difficult to move as a unit, there is no single group that is as subject to a single dogma, thereby no single unifying perspective exists.
Ask somebody what the left stands for and you’ll get many many answers. Ask somebody what the right stands for and you’ll get just a few. Generally, neither side will give you a higher answer, but a few specifics instead.
Where does the left have to go? It has to go in a direction that encompasses the beliefs of everybody on the left side, or enough to build enough momentum to sweep the left along.
I am thinking that making strides towards social freedoms are the first steps. The left must unanimously and fervently believe in our inalienable rights, and that there are no exceptions. These are, as has been evidenced by the right, the easiest to create a defining line, and the easiest to get behind.
It is sad that John Kerry got snagged in the ‘Security is the most important thing for America’ line. He emphasized it too much, when what the left truly needs to believe is that ‘Honor is the most important thing for America’. Security is of course important, but first and foremost our country must behave in a manner in which it feels comfortable with itself. And that is what the left must embrace, and come together with.
Embracing a belief like this has got to happen fast. At this moment, we are two similar rivers, one meandering, the other travelling with great momentum. We are still strong enough to face it head on, but not for long. The alternative is to slowly build, redirecting the torrent slowly, over a long period of time, using its power against itself, to make it face another, less harmful way. This is the way of the eastern fighting styles, to redirect rather than oppose. Perhaps even more effective would be to suddenly pull rather than redirect, and have the torrent tumble and fall. Maybe we should identify the strike from the religious right that is thrown too confidently, too strong, and give it just a little tug to help it along, and with that the harm of what they are creating will be evident.
The war in Iraq is a done deal. Not meaning that it’s over, but it’s happened. There is nothing that we can do about it. We have to move past it as a group and accept that we did what we could. We have to stop expending our efforts on it. The quagmire is not ours. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for our soldiers, and the Iraqi families, but our efforts are wasted there, and are better spent preventing it from happening again.
Social business architect in Portland, Oregon. Soccer addict, beer fan with a hint of wine. Find me on a gorgeous Oregon river when the sun is shining.