Last week I was in a particularly good mood. Then Trump self-destructed with his birther statement and I felt even better.
I feel more grounded, better able to see my situation, more accepting of my limits, and clear about how I want to try to contribute to social change.
Reflecting on and modifying the “Drowning Children” metaphor deepened my commitment to do all I can to reform the social system that daily kills 8.000 children and end the poverty in this country that daily kills 2,400 Americans. I feel morally obligated to do all I can about that.
As Bob Dylan sings in “What Good Am I?”:
If my hands are tied must I not wonder within
Who tied them and why and where must I have been?
What good am I if I say foolish things
And I laugh in the face of what sorrow brings
And I just turn my back while you silently die
What good am I?
I’ve concluded that I’ll try to contribute to the Cause my summing up my thinking in a new book, a booklet, tentatively titled, Transforming America: How to Fix the “Rigged System.”
The following developments bolster my confidence that my conclusions are sensible.
My reading of the excellent book, Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt by Sarah Jaffe, reassures me that my critique of the conventional leftist thinking she affirms is solid.
My reading of the beautiful book, Kiss the Sky: My Weekend in Monterey at the Greatest Concert Ever by Dusty Baker, the baseball manager, reinforces my belief in an alternative stance that holds more potential.
Hillary Clinton’s comments about the supposedly irredeemable Trump “deplorables” exposed for all to see the liberal elitism I’ve been talking about for years. Unfortunately most of her supporters seem inclined to defend her.
Her comments also clarified the important distinction between saying “that is a racist comment” and “you are a racist,” or saying “he is a deplorable politician” and “he is a deplorable person.” As I’ve argued, we can make judgments without being judgmental.
Hillary’s decision to ignore the Democratic Party platform (and promote her own proposals instead) and her weak support for the Party in general as she focuses on her own election (which has infuriated many Democrats) highlights a key weakness in the Party that I addressed in “The Convention: What Was Missing.”
Bernie’s decision not to build a new, democratic, grassroots organization, but rather focus on electoral politics, as does Barack, reduces the possibility that “Our Revolution” will fill the need for a new national organization, which I unsuccessfully tried to address by encouraging Bernie and/or the San Francisco Democratic Party to help transform the Party into an activist organization
Those and other developments lead me to believe that I am on a wise path. It’s not the only one, but it is a wise one nevertheless.
Unfortunately, so far, not many San Franciscans seem to share my vision (though some online friends elsewhere seem to).
So I plan to stop trying to organize projects myself and put my thoughts down on paper in a way that may be more convincing and/or inspiring.
At the same time, I’ll continue to keep my eyes open for a holistic community that I can join. And I’ll remain open to soulful face-to-face connections if and when those opportunities emerge.
My interactions with my passengers provide me with most or all of the superficial connections I need.
So my plan is to write as much as I can on Sundays and weeknights, watch some political comedy at 9 pm before going to bed at 10 pm (I’ve invited some neighbors here at Western Park to join me for that and I hope they will), read on the bus to and from work, and on Saturday, my Day of Rest, socialize some and commune for at least a few hours with Mother Nature (as I did on a recent hike on Land’s End and my outing to the beach yesterday that I captured with these photos and these.)
As Dusty Baker told his son, I tell myself:
It requires more strength to be different. You don’t go out of your way. But you don’t worry about being accepted. And if you’ve got the lead in life, you keep the lead. You just stay on that path wherever it’s taking you. If they say you’re “weird,” who cares?
I could count at least ten or fifteen times in the past when I’ve been ahead of my time on major issues. I sense the same may be true with regard to my search for holistic, or deep, community. No one knows if I “have the lead” on that issue. I may not know before I die.
All I can do with my remaining time is to minimize self-indulgence, keep the faith, walk the walk, and keep my eyes on the prize.
With my new book, if I can tie my thoughts together well enough, perhaps I can plant some seeds that will eventually bloom (as did other seeds that I planted).