Feb 6Liked by Shift the Country

Yah. All of this. I hate the trite statement that the "conservative" side is out to "own the libs." But I think we've let them do just that as it applies to "love." You know, "What the world needs now...." The Democrats are so *bad* with messaging and defining the argument. They are *always* playing catchup after the Republicans have gotten out front. If we don't figure out how to start explaining Democratic policies in terms that make it obvious that the policies are about loving people--all people--we don't stand a chance against the anger and vitriol of the other side. Because anger and vitriol fire them up. We let the Republicans fire their base up time and again. And seldom do we counter with the truth. No Christian" am I, but I also believe that--radical as he was--Jesus' primary message was to love one another. Most days in most ways, what I see coming from the other side is as far from love and Jesus' message as it could possibly be. And yet we have allowed the Republicans to claim his mantle for what Christianity represents. So let's figure out how to take back that mantle. Let's figure out how to spread the word of love as a celebration of valuing each and every individual. Let's figure out how to love those whose ideas and ideals are diametrically opposed to ours. Let's find our common humanity. If we do that, we will unearth a foundation of love--and maybe, just maybe, we can begin to Shift the Country.

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You pose the Great Questions eloquently, as always. Can humans learn to behave without a sword-brandishing god or dictator or Big Brother to control us? I've been trying to figure this out since I was in single digits. You have disturbed my torpor and I fear I will have to attempt to address your queries in prose. Meanwhile, here's a hint of my views:


In my drop of vapor

wrapped in the fog -

silent, at peace,

with a strain of music -

a delicate bird song

somewhere in the distance

not warm, not cold

safe, without fear -

no evil, no pain,

just being

for only a second

reality suspended.

only beauty and the richness of beauty -

I wonder at my own good fortune

and the hurt creeps in

the hurt for victims,

but even more,

the hurt for those

who have not had beauty,

nor love, nor peace,

and are consumed with pain and anger

from their want

whose only relief is to do harm -

to destroy that which they cannot have -

whose only solace from fear

is to frighten -

whose only defense

is a weapon

bereft of love,

they cringe at the sight of it

and protect themselves with hate.

without trust

without empathy


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