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Here is Part One.
Here is Part Two.
I hope you enjoyed reading them. The technical knowledge is going into the book, Messages from the Valley, that I'm writing now.
But there were some lessons that I learned, from both the Right and the Left that should be carried by all Americans:
1) We have one President at a time. Disagree and dispute with the President, that is fine. But if a president you do not like is in office, you still respect the office and never give outside enemies tools to hit our President. This was learned in NYC, from the Left. They didn't like President Reagan, but America voted for him, and they know that America does right in the long term. Even when I was in DC, and I disputed with President Clinton (whom I liked less when I was a Republican), I still saluted if I saw the Presidential Motorcade. Today's Left forgot that lesson.
2) The smart, elitist folk who laugh at your guy, be it Speaker or President, will look back and defend them when the next guy of yours comes along. Remember Truman. This came from the Right. Every Republican since Eisenhower has been called, "Stupid," or "Warmonger," When the next Republican comes along, the folks that opposed the last Republican, say, "The last republican wasn't as [Fill in the Blank]" Look at how the Left treated Reagan. And Truman was laughed at by the NY Press, and was never given his due when in office. Not until Nixon's Administration was he remembered fondly. It happens every time. Except for Franklin Pierce.
3) Have fun protesting. For work to get done, it requires people to sit in a room and hash out an agreement. If you want your views listened to, don't protest people who go to that room. Talk to them. This, ironically, comes from the Left. In 1991, it was important to Protest before the Gulf war. After it started, why protest on why it started? I learned about the art of Lobbying and Logrolling again. Surprisingly, this works better than yelling at people and calling them "Evil," "Stupid," or "Warmonger,"
4) Congress is a place of work. People from all over the country come here to see their National Legislature do their jobs. This is the people's House. Anyone who comes in to harm it should not be listened too. Only Congress can shut up Congress. This is from the Right. As I mentioned in an earlier post on where to protest, I repeat: Let Congress work. When the "Bloody 8th" occurred, Karma responded within the rules and regulations within Congress. Rebel all you want, but if you shout down Congress (or their visitors from the Executive Branch), you are shutting down my First Amendment rights.
Do you have any rules that can work for Right and Left activists that you learned?
From the the shores of Los Angeles, analysis of Politics and Culture from the Valley of the Shadow!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Lessons from the Conversion
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Thinking works for me ;-)ReplyDelete
I find that examining the facts prior to arriving at a conclusion is preferable to reacting to a situation via sheer emotion.
Here are my rules:ReplyDelete
1) Positions and offices do not automatically get respect. The people who hold them must earn respect by doing a good job. Politicians are public servants just like cops and mailmen, and when they're doing a bad job the people (who are their bosses) need to show up to their workplace and tell them they're doing a bad job.
2) Never get complacent when your team wins. Sure, you don't like the other guys too much and your guys just got in and you think everything is hunky dory. Not the case! These are politicians, not the kind of people you could ever think about actually trusting. They'll stab you in the back the second they've gotten what they want from you (your vote).
3) You are an American before you are a member of a political party. As an American, you can't overlook actions that go against the very ideals that this country was founded upon just because it might benefit your team and hurt the other team.
4) Rise above. If you see the other team doing something that you think is wrong, that is not an excuse to do the same thing. That kind of logic doesn't work on the playground and it doesn't work on the national stage. But if you're going to sink to the level of the other guys, don't even think about bitching about them doing the same thing.
5) And speaking of logic, it is your friend when trying to debate anything, whether it be politics or anything else. You may know that you're right about something, but that doesn't mean squat if you don't know how to logically prove it.
6) Just give up. Politics are an ugly business played by shady people intent on screwing all of us over. Save your sanity. Turn on, tune in, drop out.
Never be afraid to say no to someone. Loyalty is more than just being a yes man. In order to be loyal you must understand that Machiavelli was right, "what is popular isn't always right and what is right isn't always popular". There are also several other maxims, but as you are intimately familiar with the workings of my ideology you know them all and there is no point in listing them all here.ReplyDelete
Malcot, very good advice on not being yesmen, but it won't get you very far in the Bush administration. Just ask Colin Powell.ReplyDelete
I find that politics is a game without hard and fast rules, in the sense that the rules that work for one do not work for another.ReplyDelete
The only rule I strive for is to keep my conscience clear.
A wise man I knew once said to me that in order to retain oneself an individual must do his or her utmost to keep their conscience clear because, ultimately we must all keep in mind that there will come a Judgment day when the virtue of our lives are assessed.