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Changing the World Involves Being Good Winners
Alex Steffen, 5 Nov 08

A few lines that came in an email today:

"Try to be kind to each other. Do not radiate triumphalism or entitlement or disparagement or distaste. Do not gloat. Help your neighbor quietly, and speak encouragingly of all efforts to make things better. Take your lead from Obama and be respectful, gracious, understanding, and aware that at this time both joy and resentment are hateful to many, Do not presume. Celebrate quietly for what has been gained. Mourn quietly for what has been lost and what may yet be lost. Nothing is guaranteed or certain. Try to be the people we would want our conquerors to be."

I couldn't agree more. The best victories are those that change a power balance, but leave relationships between the adversaries that can be healed. Here in the U.S., there's a lot of bad blood between conservatives and progressives, but if we want to see change, we'll need those conservatives to at least agree that change is something they can accept, and they're much more likely to do that if dealt with respectfully and graciously.

Which is not to say that people should not be held accountable for their crimes and misdeeds over the last eight years. They should. People should go to jail. Nonviolence does not mean ignoring criminality and wrongdoing.

But the Bush administration and the Rovian Far Right don't make up the majority of the Republican Party, or even conservatives: the vast majority of American conservatives are decent people who want good to triumph in the world, and we need to win their support, or at least their consent, if we're going to transform the world.

Let's do this with some class.

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Comments

I was at a Sarah Palin rally, and I got the sense that many of the people responding to her "Boo" lines (other people have applause lines, she had many "boo" lines) didn't truly believe all the stuff they were booing against and cheering for. It seemed like kind of a last hurrah before they had choose, rumspringa before growing up.


Posted by: Dave on 6 Nov 08

As the character,Leo, the Chief of Staff on the "West Wing" used to famously admonish:
"We don't gloat."


Posted by: A Musing Reamus on 8 Nov 08

Gosh, thanks, Alex, for your sensitive words. I'll cancel my suicide.


Posted by: T Foreman Los Angeles, CA USA on 12 Nov 08

Gosh, thanks, Alex, for your sensitive words. I'll cancel my suicide.


Posted by: T Foreman on 12 Nov 08



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