The word “perfection” is actually about maturity and completeness, not a state of flawlessness as we usually assume. In many ways, the concept is a cancer that has caused untold personal suffering for those striving for what does not exist. It can also be cancerous in the political realm when seeking the “perfect” candidate prevents us from choosing the best candidate for the moment.
But how do we decide? How do we avoid making perfection the enemy of of the good? Of progress? First, we get informed. Seek and attend to independent, fact-based, credible news sources like TheWorkFM. Next, we avoid the trap of cynicism that arises from the “they’re all corrupt” attitude. Sometimes that can be a cop out that discourages necessary positive action. Finally, when it comes to political issues ask probing questions: which party or candidate represents (however imperfectly) positive, people-centered values? What values do they promote? What do their words and actions reveal about them? Which one promotes unity and which one sows seeds of division? What is their history?
We have seen that in difficult political times, many Americans respond by avoiding politics and voting. This may be an understandable response but it can be a dangerous mistake – especially in times of crisis. Democracy cannot exist without widespread participation. By contrast, sometimes those who are informed and active can be tempted into expectations of political perfection that end up alienating allies and preventing progress altogether.
If a home is on fire, is it not misguided to argue about who extinguishes it while it still burns?
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“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.” ― Wendell Berry, The Long-Legged House
WRWK is progressive community radio. We seek to promote progress towards justice, health and happiness for hard working folks everywhere. On a larger scale, if we trace human progress over the last five thousand years, humans have achieved some great things. Unfortunately, many of these achievements came at a high price in terms of human life and environmental damage because we ignored the costs of our progress. While learning how to mass produce things, to fly, to find and use fossil fuels, we were also wrecking the environment and taking over the resources of weaker countries while taking advantage of each other in ways that reduced our social health and stability. This imperial attitude of exploitation is part of what our constitution was meant to address.
Say what you might about the flaws of the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, in their time they were charting a way to progress out of the chaos of history and its failures. As Sarah Chayes points out in her book Corruption in America: And What is at Stake our constitution was an attempt to block corruption while expanding the power of the people instead of just reinforcing the royal prerogatives of wealth and privilege.
Sadly, these royal prerogatives are still at play today as when the General Assembly affirmed the right of regulated monopolies to lobby politicians (thus maintaining a solid source of campaign cash). It’s not about blue and red or even north and south, it’s about creeping corruption and the lusts of power. And as we become more divided, the lusts of monied interests are busily corroding the protections of our constitution.
If we compare the relationship between what citizens want from government versus what monied interests want, too often money wins out. This was illustrated well when our governor managed approval of permits for oil pipelines in spite of public opposition.
Other examples abound but we all know this, so let us put our focus on making progress towards universal health and happiness by telling the stories of the possible world that still exists beyond the noise and press releases that ad agencies and campaign funds stir up. Help us to make progress towards this goal by supporting WRWK TheWorkFM where progressive solutions are our inspiration.
Our intrepid correspondents Max & Ian on the scene in DC are just a two of the many good reasons to supportWRWK TheWorkFM, your local, non-commercial, non-corporate radio station. Along with our progressive news, talk and local music format, WRWK offers live on the scene reporting from marches and board meetings, as well as interviews with local activists and politicians. No spin. No commercials. No alternative facts. Just relevant fact-based reporting and discussion. Become a supporter today – you can start with a single donation or pledge as little as $5 per month. Just click on the “donate” button – thanks!
Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping gets involved in the fight for clean water….
Film-maker Teodros and music maker Sunder and myself spent this week on the shoulders of baking highways in Minnesota. Anishinaabe and Lakota mothers and grandmothers are our leaders. We’ve joined water protectors who are walking from the Line 3 pipeline down to the state capitol of Minnesota on August 25th with a gathering in Washington D. C. on the same day.
These mothers of the RISE coalition are our teachers. The Line 3 resistance is the experience that radiates out to all progressive issues. It is the life and death struggle against fossil banks and corporations and their political collaborators. This is Pettis Bridge, this is Stonewall. We are dedicating the next several weeks of our “Stop Shopping Radio” to the fight for the life of this Earth in the treaty lands.