I was prepared to love Bernie Sanders almost thirty years ago.
I was barely a decade old when I testified against a pedophile. He sat only a few feet away from me as I described how he’d once placed a hand on my breast.
“Why do you care so much what happens to some people in Yemen?” several people have asked me. “Don’t you care about Americans?!”
“All injustice is interrelated,” I’ve fumbled in reply. “The injustice Yemeni people experience is symptomatic of the same illness many Americans endure. To care about one is to care about all.”
I haven’t satisfied a single person–myself included–with this vague answer, so I’ve kept searching for a better one. As a former negotiator, I know I won’t receive any concession I can’t describe.
I sought and found a story, something that might breathe real life into the abstraction that “all injustice is interrelated.”
Imagine the earth is a single enormous iceberg, and all who live upon it are penguins. Some penguins live nearer the center, and others nearer its edges.
Penguins in the center are doing very, very well. In fact, 1% of the penguin population has managed to hoard for itself almost half of the iceberg.
I’ve learned a lot recently, and learned much of it very quickly.
Unfortunately, this means my ability to understand the U.S. political landscape has far exceeded my ability to explain it. Fortunately, I started practicing a lot, so I’m better now than I was even a month ago.
My passion still exceeds my skill, but the gap between the two gets a little less cavernous every time I practice.
Never (yet) has the gap been clearer than when I expressed horror over what’s happening in Yemen.
Once I recognized my passion-skill gap there, I sat with it a while.
I spent a long time thinking about how to explain–sans antagonism–why I care so much about strangers in Yemen.
Finally, I found a way to explain with a better balance between passion and skill.
Please click the image below to read my second Progressive Army piece. For more context, you might also want to read this illuminating Bill Moyers piece.
I hope you’ll read, reflect, and share your thoughts with me.
I received a DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL STRATEGY SURVEY a few weeks ago. I immediately placed it in my shredding bin, but pulled it out for inspection this weekend.
There’s so much I could say about this survey. Had I more time, I could write thousands of words on all the false dichotomies it presented, and all the ways in which it ridiculously limited choices while painting Democrats as heroes and Republicans as villains.
After sitting with it for a while, I struck through a prominent concluding paragraph*:
YES, LEADER PELOSI… I will help Democrats protect the progress we’ve made from attacks by Donald Trump and the radical Tea Party Republicans, and deliver the positive change America needs by putting more Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and electing Hillary Clinton to the White House!
I replaced it with much shorter text: Read more…