Monday, September 04, 2006

The 95% Solution

I doubt if Bush can be 'made' to do the right thing with Iraq or anything else. In fact, it's probably a waste of time, like beating a dead horse. Plus it keeps the focus on the bad stuff. Very discouraging. Gives people the feeling we're in a downward spiral and can't do anything right.

Instead, I think we need to rouse ourselves from the spell of his campaign of Fear-with-a-capital-F and get focused on the good things America can be. It's a vision thing. If we can think of it, we can do it. If we stay focused on it in a hopeful and positive way, it will happen faster.

I think the biggest mistake Americans can make is to be all the time reacting to Bush and his cronies. Enough already. Spend 5% of the time pointing out what is broken, and 95% of time and speech and imagination on bringing the much better thing to life.

People will hear the call. Everyone wants a future worth living for. Paint it so we can smell it, feel it, taste it. Remember how we felt when JFK was President? I even felt it with Clinton. Much more hopeful times. It feels like you can be anything, like the future is wide open and there for the taking. There is a generosity towards other people, a welcoming of immigrants, a hand up to those who are reaching for something better.

What's at stake for me is a positive future, real representation, honest debate, an America worth living for. Speeches are often full of things that are worth fighting for, but how about things that are worth living for?

I think of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, how that empowered so many people to step up and claim that future. The work will never be done, but we can all have a meaningful part in making good things come to be. People need to be reminded of this, of how important every single one of us is. How much it matters how we treat our families, our neighbors, our jobs.

I think that is the spirit that will move America through this challenging time.

Gail Murray 9/4/06
with thanks to Carl Sheeler for stirring me to clarify these ideas