Evidence and Idealogy
I was uncharacteristically quiet during the primary and election season. I think I was holding my breath and looking for what I had hoped to see. September 11th 2002 I was standing about 12 feet from former President Clinton who was speaking at a rally for the then Democratic Candidate for Ohio Governor, Tim Hagan. In his speech, Clinton talked about the difference between the two parties: Evidence versus Idealogy. But I believe the issue with that is that these two approaches to living and governing are polar opposites. What we needed was a means to combine the two, transcend the two, or else we will forever be in irreconciable conflict with no progress viable.
A year prior to hearing Clinton, I was teaching and was in the classroom the day of the World Trade Center attack. In the aftermath, what I looked for was not seen. We were not asked to pull together. We were not asked to rally. I was missing the grand call to service, the call to work together, the call to unity. Instead we were told to go shopping. We were told to resume consumption. And so we got drunk on our gluttony. We grew debt not duty, we grew fat not fit, we grew complacent not compassionate. We were patronized, placated and distracted with the purchase of things not long lasting.
And yet, as it most often does, from out of seemingly no where, someone got it. Someone saw a way to marry the ideals and the evidence. Someone saw the way forward was along and not alone- was with and not without. Someone saw our better angels had been idle for too long.
Yesterday, President Obama's inauguration was a world wide calling to the possiblity we were established in. The campaign, the calling, was a brilliant blend of evidence and idealogy. It called us back and yet forward. It righted our leaning tower and the work to shore up our foundation has begun. And yesterday I breathed deeply.
The U.S. is us again.