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I am struggling to hang on to optimism and pragmatism, politically speaking. It is hard for me some days.
If I lived in London I could see myself standing on a soap box and orating at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. There are no polls in Hyde Park. The audience either congregates around a certain speaker or drifts off to another soap box. Many speakers there are doing what we would call ranting. Some are very good orators and some are just nuts. Speaker’s Corner is a Sunday morning phenomenon. It is much more entertaining than some other Sunday morning speeches I have attended.
I am a long way from London, up here in the North woods but I still have that basic need to speak out and be heard. I have started ranting to the trees as I mow the campground. Don’t call the ‘men in the white coats’ just yet. My anger and disappointment need an outlet if I am to remain civil as a Fred whisper or to represent the various organizations I have joined that sit at the farmer’s market and tell people the risks to our ground water posed by unregulated mining. Passionate advocacy is one thing and free range anger is a whole different thing.
My personal strategy for maintaining my optimism and pragmatism and need to just vent, is to talk to the trees. Fortunately, I am surrounded by trees. I am after all in a National Forest. I am not, in Prince Charles fashion telling them to grow big and strong. I am using them as my audience for venting. I only mow a campsite when it is unoccupied. My only audience is the forest and I love how the wind makes the trees seem to nod in agreement with my speeches.
The trees agree. The national Democrats are woefully inadequate in being the majority party. They seem hell-bent on compromise when confrontation would better serve them. For example, Why would they allow nominee after nominee to be threatened with filibuster? Why?
“Oh trees I ask you, where are their roots? Why doesn’t Senator Reid stand up in the well of the senate and let the Republicans know that the Democrats are keeping score? Why doesn’t he say that for every nominee that is thwarted by Republicans and thus prevents our President from staffing his administration, the next Republican President, should there ever be one, will experience retribution and then some? Revenge as in we are keeping score. Enough of this charade! If you think that you can stymie our President to your advantage, we have news for you. We are keeping score. Expect the favor to be returned. In fact, just so you know we are serious, for every nomination you don’t put to a vote, we will hold two of yours. We won the Presidency and it is time for you to let that big fact through your thick skulls. Don’t think for a minute that by blocking our ability to get things done for real working Americans that you will somehow return to power. Two parties can play this game and we are unto you. No more free passes. No more voting for unfunded Republican wars. No more voting to take security away from the people who have paid into programs and counted on those programs being there for them. Enough!”
Okay. The trees nodded in the wind. It helps keep me sane to know that at least the trees agree with me. I am venting to the trees, talking to the trees. Some days it seems they are the only ones willing to listen.
I am curious, how do you maintain your optimism and pragmatism?
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