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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Essay: Democrats in 2012—The need to get real

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Democrats in 2012—The need to get real

From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

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Chum For Thought:
Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters

Democrats in 2012—The need to get real


Some Democrats are hesitating to rally behind our president. I don’t get it. Put all the rest of the clutter and noise aside and here is what you have left: President Obama is leading in the best direction. Mitt Romney has promised to take our country in the other direction. Progressive change may be slower than expected, but our President has persistently moved us forward. Republicans have gone to radical extremes to obstruct his efforts, willingly damaging our nation in the process. Their disdain of the public good is unconscionable.

Some Democrats caught Barack Obama’s vision for the future and assumed that their party would immediately run screaming, with hair on fire, as fast as it could to the left. But, that is no way to govern the whole country. That is no way to consider the diverse interests of America’s many citizens, including our many deeply-conservative neighbors.

Some Democrats, failing to send liberal representatives to congress in 2010, also failed to understand that, particularly in this economic and political climate, Moses himself could not have led such a rebellious people out of the wilderness overnight. The good news is that
President Obama chose to concentrate on getting a grip on policy and practicing the art of the possible. Nonetheless, many of us are whining that he did not call down fire from heaven or miraculously separate the sea.

The bad news is that President Obama so abruptly left the inspiring message-making of his campaign to focus on actual, you know, governing that we felt emotionally abandoned. Obama has recently admitted that he neglected being “story-teller in chief.” It is the stories that we tell that give meaning to our lives and our circumstances. It is the way that we frame the meaning of things that moves us to act together with purpose and resolve. And so, now we naturally feel somewhat lost and disoriented.

The good news is that Barack Obama is still very smart, untiringly persistent, and decisively courageous. He has a heart big enough to embrace our entire nation. He still possesses vision and the eloquence to communicate that vision and inspire us to respond to “the better angels of our nature.” I expect to see our president return to this level of overt publicly-visible leadership and remind us why we rallied to him in the first place.