Class drives American politics today. “Both parties need an economic program that can deliver middle-class jobs. Republicans have one: Unleash American business. Democrats? They remain obsessed with cultural issues…[that] infuriates many Americans whose chief concerns are economic.”
I love when things just happen. A few months ago, I took my kids to the public library, and my daughter saw some friends, so I was saying hello to the father, and we were near a free book cart. He pointed to the book Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I enjoy escaping into new worlds and learning how life was, and the one thing that I remember most about that book is how people dressed in Bangladesh. They would get fabric for special occasions and they would take it to the tailor to get fitted and made. Today some people pay thousands for a piece of fabric, and what they really are paying for is the art, labor, and energy that goes into designing and creating.
I luckily keep on finding where my boys can get a haircut for $10 by word of mouth, and right next to it was a little wooden stand with free books inside. I picked up Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, which had a stamp of Oprah’s Book Club on it. I read it cover to cover yesterday, and it was fascinating, about America, specifically California, China, Chile, and all the settlers that were coming in from England, Australia, and other places taking over in the 1900’s. The book also vividly explained how Native American Indians and people of color were treated with hate, disdain, and even the law was not on their side. Even though it is fiction, it would be a good read for young Americans to understand how it used to be, and although we live in a crazy world, we should count our blessings and be grateful that we can stand loud and proud with our beliefs and choices.
What was was.
Let’s Move Forward.
We all have many sides to us, neither Hillary or Trump fully represented me.
Dan Rather summed it up, expressing that looking for strong and inspiring leaders should be the goal, no more wallowing, blaming, hiding, and fear.
Be the leader and the voice inside of you,
The wilderness can be a cold, forbidding, and dangerous place. The forces of evolution are not known for their kindness. But when something does take root in that environment, and flourishes, it is often because it is robust and strong. It can also turn out to be quite beautiful.
I caution those who feel adrift in today’s political landscape to remember the lessons of nature. To be sure, the Democrats are in a political wilderness at both the Federal level and the state level. With some notable exceptions (here’s looking at you California), the party is depleted and marginalized, and I know a lot of progressives are in deep despair.
But out of the wilderness can come new ideas, and new leaders. I have found that complacency is often the most insidious infection to a political movement. Competition breeds experimentation and energy. I suspect that the Democratic nominee for president in 2020 will be a man or woman whose name is not well known to the public today – much like Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton were relatively anonymous before their runs, or even Barack Obama. I predict that in response to the Trump Administration you will see new emergent paths of dissent. Yes Nancy Pelosi was re-elected as House Minority Leader but her generation’s political influence is on the wane.
It will be interesting to see whether the Democrats embrace the coming chaos amidst their ranks and encourage new seedlings of a progressive future to blossom.