by eOz | 10/26/2008 04:41:00 PM
In May, 2006, thereisnospoon posted a definitional diary on the Overton window. The point of the Overton Window methodology is to move public opinion along a continuum of statements which cannot all be true. These common "facts" about our society are arranged so the facts most mutually exclusive are at the ends of the list so we can take the measure of which version of "the facts" We The People believe in this moment.

We do that listening to the stories being told -- from national media to our living rooms. Stories make assumptions which must be shared in order to be understood. No one can unhear a story, nor be untouched by it once heard. Once moved by a story which rings true, our cause cannot be stopped short of tryanny -- and even then tryants must watch their back.

In this final stretch of the campaign, we must make history. Politicians do not do that. We The People do that. Our several histories, told boldly and candidly, will make the difference more than the silliness and machinations of the "professionals". It is time to make our history ourselves.

Stories are a measure and a method rolled up into a thing which has a logic of its own. Songs are written to evoke this nonverbal communication among people in a few minutes. The music of the 60s, from the folk movement through the acid rock "head" bands which continued into the 70s, wove a narrative of our common life. These stories moved the Overton Window, but that movement lost momentum in the 70s after Watergate and the war ended.

Those of us moved by that narrative shared a tangled bundle of common "facts" such as "my conversations and social gatherings are private", which were very strong and rooted. Memes are these "facts-in-context". As the context changes, some narratives shrink to a small network of people while others expand. The Rapture Theory among evangelicals is rooting in the "fact" that "the world will end soon so wasting resources on social justice cuts into my retirement plan earnings" gained the focus of the lens an Overton Window provides -- deliberately so, driven relentlessly to this day by those who brazenly called themselves the "Moral Majority" and now consider themselves the exclusive brokers for God itself.

But throughout this time of their ascendency, millions of us have kept alive a different truth. A truth whose time has come to serve our nation in its hour of greatest need. In this moment, we have the duty to step into the breach and proclaim a message of hope and a sense of the future in which people really want to live. To rise to this duty in this tipping point for our nation and our world, we must rededicate ourselves to becoming the message we hope to convey. We must re-member -- put back together what has been sundered -- as a living meme which others can take and make their own. We must give life to a set of ideas with mythic meaning as never before.

For those ready to answer this duty, the question is how to articulate our message and the challenge is how to exemplify it in our daily lives.

The Progressive Manifesto, In Our Time

Lewis Powell's memo captured the old mythos' strategy, the Heritage Foundation gave its precepts root and strength, the Moral Majority hyjacked it and the neocons drove it to such an extreme the People are now ashamed and aghast they allowed this beast such freedoms with our common weal. Their stories are old. Their myths are now, well, myths. Spent and tired, their energy is exhausting itself in a cynical and half-hearted candidate whose better days have come and gone. Yet they scream their stories at us, in unison. Their message discipline remains, even though the message lost meaning long ago.

We, as a community, are now engaged in a counter narrative through blog sites like this one. Our prism of social justice, economic fairness and fidelity to the spirit of the Constitution -- that the rule of law is our only civic religion -- brings real-world facts into focus other perspectives would ignore or even avoid. One innocient deprived of their liberty is far worse a curse upon our republic than fifty or fifty thousand of those guilty allowed to go free. One. That "fact" is in their Overton mix, in which the lens was moved to "One guilty person missed puts us all in mortal danger".

Joseph Clinton Pearce examined this technology of mind in his book Crack In The Cosmic Egg. He called this context -- this prism through which each of us experiences our social world -- a mythos. Joseph Campbell, following the lead of Carl Jung, has studied the patterns in our stories and our various social narratives around the world and found common threads throughout. While these contexts are alive, enlivened by people living within them, they provide a sense of order and explain the world well enough to empower us. When the mythos morphs into new experiences and insights, the old ideas fossilize into mere mythology. The myths of the 60s were once the organizing principle for everyday life. The mythos of Morning In America is hardening before our eyes. The Overton windows are moving, unbidden, to new sensibilities to open before us a future in which we can believe again.

To move the Overton Window by design requires memes -- stories so well crafted and so widely told in such a narrow window of time that people's own and collective mythos shifts from one archetype to another. Stereotypes are simple manifestations of these ancient and worldwide patterns of common human nature. We all tell stories and hear them. We all avoid stories we don't like and look for stories we do want to hear.

Our memes are now needed, for we are all in the tipping point of our social, economic and political lives. Right. Now. We, as a People, are faced with opposing ideas such as these mutually contradictory viewpoints on our duty to our nation:

  • Peace

    • Peace means success of our governments

    • Peace means we are getting weak, just asking to be attacked.

  • Prosperity

    • The lowest ratio of top incomes to bottom incomes in a nation is the measure of success as a society.

    • The highest ratio of incomes is a measure of our economic dominance of the rest of the world.

  • Privacy

    • My thoughts and gatherings -- and all of my stories -- are private and can only be breached through a public process where the breach itself can be blocked

    • Your thoughts and stories could be a plot to kill the rest of us or to sin in ways which will make God turn His eyes away from our nation.

Which place each of us may find ourselves along the shades of opinion between these endpoints may not be by choice. But where our common resolve to move forward as We The People will lie depends on the place we choose to be in each of these dimensions.

The focus of the Overton Window along the slidepoint between these opposing mythos is now ready to shift. The tipping point brings with it the possibility of movement in a short time. In times of transformation like this, people are doubting their current stories and may not like hearing them as much. Instead, they may be looking for the stories others tell which make more sense of the world and allay our natural fears arising from the sense of change underway. Our stories may seem boring and mundane. The stories gussied up by media hype of people we will never know can seem more real than our own daily life.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Sacred In The Profanely Mundane

In this tipping point, telling others about social justice languishing, economic justice being corrupted and the rule of law being abandoned in Our name is a public service. The People must decide the course to take, and soon. That myth, made real by the Constitution of our nation as long as we can keep it so, must be made real once again by the generation in power now, in this time. Our windows must shift so we can see clearly a path ahead and convey to those around us the stories which empower them to see it, too.

In such a time as this, the candidates themselves are driven by the movement of the window.

Economic justice is told in stories about failing health care and closing factories to raise the level of employment in other nations. Small businesses need comprehensive single-payor health care, and now so do the big corporations to be economically competitive. People without insurance need care no matter what the details may be. Globalization has run its course. Now it is time to adapt to a mixed future where we learn what can be done 10,000 miles away, and what cannot -- seeking always to find the optimum balance between our standard of living and that of other nations.

Peace becomes the measure of the success of this mix. Nations raising the standard of living of their people have more at stake if anarchy prevails. Those governments who are aren't interested are constantly on guard against their own citizens, consuming energy and resources to attack other nations. Nations are now being carved into smaller pieces, not expanding to absorb other nations.

Prosperity becomes the measure of how far we are from optimum. Top-to-bottom income ratios measure the success of a government in finding that mix which is optimum. Through carelessness and the Pax Americana mythos, we have drifted away from the optimum mix, exacerbated by globalization, automation and telecommunications advances. Fellow citizens who happen to be of means have taken too much advantage of millions of situations over the past thirty years and have perpetuated myths such as Greed Is Good and the Gospel Of Prosperity.

Privacy is simple. Every secret warrant, hearing and proceding is a mark against the government. Every innocient person forced to plead guilty to avoid the expense and humiliation of a trial, or found guilty by a jury mislead by slick prosecution (or by mistake made in an overheated justice system staffed by overworked fellow citizens), is a mark against the rule of law. Each such error is magnified by the community of people who know the accused so mistreated. This injustice leads to resentment and to stories of injustice which undermine right-minded law enforcement as well as cowboy justice served with a swagger of moral arrogance.

In each of these areas, and these are just a few examples, the Overton Window can be moved. Soon. Quickly. Firmly -- for at least a generation. If we be but bold enough to speak, to sing, to tell, to show, to act. If we be but bold enough to tell the stories which need to be told, and thus to put memes into our social bloodstream from which the narrative measured by those who use such things as windows must notice, things will change. The politicians are watching those indicators now. Their political future depends on reading it right.

While we might look back to the signing of the Magna Charta in 1215 as the beginnings of what are called the Rights of Englishmen, perhaps the most influential document in the history of our law was (I emphasize "was") William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, published between 1765 and 1769. As Roberts and Stratton point out, Blackstone believed that the law should be a "shield for the innocent" and that the purpose of law (and government) was protection of innocent people (and their property) from predators and from the predatory state.

From Blackstone’s vision came the view of "innocent until proven guilty," and the protection of rights for those who were accused. From Blackstone, we are given the famous quote: "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer." Indeed, the concept Rights of Englishmen has been absolutely vital to the very idea of liberty in this country.

The American Police State
by William L. Anderson

This Overton window, it seems, has been sliding back and forth for a very long time. Blackstone's formulation is at one end. See if you recognize the other end of the slidepoint for this window:

However, there also was a competing vision, one that was drawn up by the "father" of modern government, Jeremy Bentham, a British philosopher of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the one who penned the term, "utilitarianism." Bentham scoffed at the idea of individual rights, and believed that the state needed to be a mechanism by which the largest number of people could be able to experience the greatest pleasure with the least amount of pain.

In Bentham’s view, the state was to accomplish that purpose by being as unrestrained as possible, led by people whose vision was superior to the vision of ordinary people who did not know better. Law, in Bentham’s view, was not to be a "shield" for innocent people, but rather a set of rules that would push people in a certain direction through incentives, both benign and harsh. Even wrongful convictions of innocent people were not harmful, for they empowered the state and sent a message to everyone else.


Speak. Move. Believe. Tell. We don't have our own version of Powell's memo to guide us. We will never be as organized and have as much cash behind us as those who used the windows to ram this mileu of mythos down our collective throat. We don't need to. We have already found this blog site. We are already reading the stories. We must simply be willing to tell our stories, to one another. That, more than all the polling and media campaigns, will make the difference in this breach. Through this transformation each of us goes alone. But we will only make it through to a union more perfected than before if we hold to those who stick with us and join us during the cusp. How we come out on the other side depends on with whom we hold hands and to whom we speak our hearts and reveal our true minds, more than any other thing.

Our Civic Religion: The Patriots' Common Cause

In our civic religion, recognizing only Providence outside ourselves, we are indeed in the Rapture now. Once again, we can sin against this religion by wreaking injustice on those around us in order to obtain short-term gain or power. Or we can return to its purest precepts and worship together in the only way that matters: as equals. As fellow citizens. As proud advocates for the Constitution as written, amended and to be amended in the future.

We will not be taken into heaven to sneer at those left behind in torment -- that is not the kind of story we can stomach. In our Rapture, we take each other by the hand and pull together, rising together to receive the blessings of peace, prosperity and privacy, or nothing at all. We come out on the other side more equal, more just as a nation and more enlightened as a people.

Tell others the stories which lift them up and draw them together. Plant the meme we are the only security against all threats foreign and domestic. No one can provide Us security. We The People secure our nation by being unyielding in seeking its promise for all humankind. Enlist others into this cause once again. Help them let go of the stories to which they cling but from which they gain inner peace no longer.

The Framers found this common ground while writing the Constitution. The Founders tried to carry out its precepts, always imperfectly. This mythos has grown and evolved through our history. Lincoln found solace in it during dark times. Franklin Roosevelt found courage in it during perilous times. Eisenhauer feared for its future. Kennedy attempted to give it voice. Reagan attempted to defeat its populist promise. Clinton attempted to find common ground and succeeded in igniting its passion. The current Bush Administration has attempted to change reality to something else. Now the next President, and We The People of this time, must renew the founding truth of our nation yet again.

In 1968, our movement was dealt a severe blow when two citizens who had come to their common understanding of the truth for which we now stand were taken from us before they could finish the work then that we can finish now.

It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say that threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

I See The Promised Land
Martin Luther King
April 3, 1968
Memphis, Tennessee

The day before he was assassinated

Martin Luther King embodied it with nonviolence and relentless determination. On the news of his death, Bobby Kennedy was moved by it to stand on the back of a flatbed truck in the dark of night and grief to calm his fellow citizens.

[I]n the black neighborhood on the north side of Indianapolis that awful April night in 1968, a few hours after hearing that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been killed in Memphis. Standing on a flat-bed truck on a street corner, huddled against the cold in a long black overcoat that seemed two sizes too large, he sought to calm the rage of those listening to him.

"I know in my heart," he said hesitantly, "what you must be feeling. I had a member of my family killed. He was a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States -- an effort to understand." 'Pain That Cannot Forget'

In Atlantic City he had quoted Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. In Indianapolis, chopping the air with his closed right hand in the awkward gesture he used for emphasis, he quoted Aeschylus: "Even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

25 Years. The Vision of Robert Kennedy Lives On.
The New York Times
Published: June 7, 1993

Robert Kennedy was assassinated a couple months later. The chaos of 1968 and the pain our movement felt is still with us, many decades later. We were in motion then, and we frightened the reactionaries. They used that fear to elect Richard Nixon, helped by the pain and paralysis of the liberal movement after losing two such great lights. But the passion and meaning of their work and the mythos of their vision was raw and powerful. The power of these patriots and their mythos scared the reactionary movement enough to move Lewis Powell to write his famous memo for the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, upon which the political movement we are now facing down in this election organized.

The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history. But they remain a small minority, and are not yet the principal cause for concern.

The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.

Confidential Memorandum: Attack of American Free Enterprise System
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
August 23, 1971

Ralph Nader, for one, empowered by the civic religion given life by Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy in giving up their own lives, shook the "system" Powell sought to defend to its foundations. Nader's legal challenges against corporations, along with many others, was forcing one mythos to explain itself to a society ready to transform itself. In that message, the mythos of the benevolent "system" was found wanting. Nader was not alone. Indeed, he was only one of millions so moved to act -- and so scare the "defenders of the system" to their core.

The reactionaries set out to create a mythos to prevent this embryotic understanding of our nation from rising then. Their skill for over thirty years in doing so only makes the power of the re-emergence of our progressive and liberal vision of America, in full flower now in this election, all the more urgent and lends it the power we now see manifested all around us in the Obama campaign. This civic religion of ours is a mythos which has not allowed itself to die. It becomes the message of too many people. Soldiers in the depravity and cruelty of battle. Community organizers in shabby meeting rooms looking for power in the souls of people beaten down by adversity and prejudice. Activists scanning documents hidden by those in power in order to expose that power to the light of public scrutinty and thus dispel its insidious affect. Citizens all, just like us.

Millions have carried this civic religion to us across time and at great cost. Millions hence await to receive it from us. We fail utterly if we fail this most sacred cause.

The Medium Is The Message

In the remaining days of this campaign, the messages which drive media, large and small, are emerging and spinning like never before. People are allowing words and images to spark a reaction, a learned reflex, in the crucible of this information storm. There is no time to pause, consider and contemplate. It is in these times we must counter the emotions of violence and anger and fear now that the people who believed in a party see it shredded by facts they did not expect.

The counterpoint to Lewis Powell's memorandum's efficent plan is the order which arises from the common weal of shared experience. Enough citizens have woken up to the facts of a situation in which, and through which, we must prevail as a nation. Indeed, all such plans eventually are shattered because they are a paradigm -- a mythos. As our society and civilization evolves through history, the mythos of one generation or one "age" as historians may some day see in the tsunami of facts in which the citizenry is immersed in this passage; in this campaign; in this maelstrom of challenges to our courage and our spirit.

Those who believe in the dominionists movement Rapture theory are still fellow citizens. Our common civic religion is not an alternative to individual religions, deeply felt and immensely enriching our common weal. Instead, it is as far as we need to share beliefs, at a minimum, to pull together and compromise and engage our political institutions.

We are the message we need to inject into media. We are the ones who propelled the Obama campaign atop the many streams of campaigns: Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Kucinich and many others. Even the independent candidates have furthered the message we now carry. Bob Barr has been blunt and clear on civil liberties -- he has nothing to lose and karma to atone from his vote for the Patriot Act.

Nader is of the message that corporate greed has no limits unless the People are able to watch them in the interest of economic justice. He has preached the civic sermon that legal entities are not citizens. To be a citizen, you must have a soul, a living breath of divinity, a sense of the future and the ability to make artifacts and practice sacriments which future generations will receive and learn. Businesses are not of this character. They are not necessisarily evil -- they have the choice to not practice evil -- but they must make money. They change owners and cultures. They grow to be something different than they were when it was a small band of employees bound together by a common dream.

Gravel growled his message: this whole last forty years has been insanity. It is the message of the movie Network, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more!".

There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and A T and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state -- Karl Marx?

They pull out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business.

The world is a business, Mr. Beale!

It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children, Mr. Beale, will live to see that perfect world in which there is no war and famine, oppression and brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.

The movie Network
Arthur Jensen to Howard Beale

What a cold world, indeed. A wasteland of the soul with no mythic potential. A vapid and empty comfort in times when those models -- minimax solutions and price-cost probability and all -- fail before the leveling force of history. We stand in this tipping point now. That world glorified by Powell and the inheritors of his empty philosophy has shattered and lays in pieces all around us now. Even the great Greenspan has had to admit "there were flaws in my model" -- the embodiment of that false confidence which has been foisted on the citizenry for too long.

Bentham's vision has captured the Overton window through averice and greed, artificially engineered by consultants who ultimately do not work for mythical remembrance, but for money. This vision has failed, from top to bottom. Every one of us knows it. Each of us must now do something about it.

The Old Center Cannot Hold - The New Center Beckons

Take the floor. Boldly debate on the public square. Care enough about your fellow citizens to give them the benefit of your stories, and the courtesy to hear theirs. In this great congress our nation's power and future lies, not the Congress or Government alone, now so disconnected from the common weal.

McCain's campaign "town hall meetings" allowed messages of fear, of anger and of drastic action to amplify, overcoming a weak center. McCain is struggling to be any one message, balanced between "feeling your pain" and the calamities beyond ken which call for a national leader to speak forth and seize the moment. This center may hold, or it may not. McCain has had to retreat to controlled rallies. Palin's rallies are on the knife's edge of violence. She loves it out there. She may have to be pulled back. Or she may be allowed to go for it, doggone it!

Things could get really crazy. Be the sanity as only people can be. Citizens are not the same as organizations for this simple reason: we can care about each other. People in organizations can care, but it is a constant struggle. The drives to profit, to survive, to empower and to be heard are forces pulling us away from the concerns of others outside that common work. Citizens can care about alternative energy while devoting their time to economic justice. We are sums beyond these parts.

You see, the challenges we face will not be solved with one meeting in one night. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.

We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have little; who've been told that they cannot have what they dream; that they cannot be what they imagine.

Yes they can.

We are the hope of the father who goes to work before dawn and lies awake with doubts that tell him he cannot give his children the same opportunities that someone gave him.

Yes he can.

We are the hope of the woman who hears that her city will not be rebuilt; that she cannot reclaim the life that was swept away in a terrible storm.

Yes she can.

We are the hope of the future; the answer to the cynics who tell us our house must stand divided; that we cannot come together; that we cannot remake this world as it should be.

Because we know what we have seen and what we believe - that what began as a whisper has now swelled to a chorus that cannot be ignored; that will not be deterred; that will ring out across this land as a hymn that will heal this nation, repair this world, and make this time different than all the rest
- Yes. We. Can.

Speech by Barak Obama
February 5, 2008
Super Tuesday

Be the message. We are here to invite every citizen to find our commonality -- our own civic religion -- again and face this sea of misfortunes we citizens did not deserve, but which we must now face together. We are here to elect a man who has listened to us and that we expect to listen to everyone when he has the opportunity. If he does not, we will raise up another citizen in his place until we are moving forward again. For Obama has invoked the sacred core of our nation, and to those words we bind him in electing him. A mighty pact is being forged in this moment, and we expect it to be honored so that from all of us can honor be expected. Past is prolouge to this challenge, in this time. It brought us here, but it does not proscribe the limits of what we can now become as a nation and as a people.

If some of our fellow citizens cannot believe in Obama or any candidates of the Democratic party right now, maybe they can believe in us. To be worthy of that trust, we must believe in them. When other citizens use language which makes us feel our own reations rising against them, we must pause. We must stop the madness, if only for a moment and say, "C'mon. Politicians don't make change happen. We do. Things have to change. Let's at least agree on that." Let them tell you what they know has to change. Find commonality in their ideas, and redirect the conversation to engage them to listen to our ideas. Heal this rift. Fight habits of dischord forged in our own struggle with feeling powerless to stop the tide of change. Rage against the information storm. Defeat its seductive power, seeking to silence us exactly when we know we should speak.

We are here to join with every one of our fellow citizens to progress, together, into the future. We are progressives, and we are ready for these challenges. We are the scientists, the artists, the activists, the entrepreneurs, the software gurus, the parents, the children, the neighbor. We are every kind of profession and every kind of religion. All we have, in the end, is each other. It will take all of us. It will take every one of us.

Once we took up arms against fellow citizens, against one another. In the depths of that horror, a President was moved by the carnage and the grief of the survivors to say:

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

We have to offer our fellow citizens now lost and angry and afraid a simple message. We believe in the future. We can see it, clearly. We can't get there alone. We work for a future in which our common lives are better. Progressives are those of us who have organized politically to advocate for that future. We want to move ahead again after wandering in the Reagan wilderness for thirty years. We are ready to break out of the "way it is". That way is disintegrating around all of us any way. It is gone forever. Those who look at what is being lost are distraught, and honestly so. Those of us who look at the prize we can now seize are enraptured, honestly so. We who are not afraid must reach out our hand to those who are now. We must do it in this moment. We must do it in this time.

We can win now. We must be wary and wise to seal that deal. But the way to victory in this campaign is not to elect only a slate of politicians. It is to elect to take a step, together, into the future. It is to break the spell in which we have been trapped for too many years. Indeed, that mythos is gone now, wiped away by the graph of the stock indices going down without relent. Wiped away by the cruelty we see all around us, now institutionalized. Wiped away by the tragedies we have witnessed, now no longer to be borne in silence.

We are in the tipping point. Every story makes a difference now. Grant your fellow citizens the privilege of hearing yours. The future of our nation, and possibly the human race itself, depends on it. Depends on you. Depends on me. Depends on We The People. So it has always been, and so it must forever be -- or this nation will perish from the the earth. Our civic religion, in this time, springs from the knowledge within us all that in this cause we must not fail. In this one creed we can all find the courage to say what needs saying, and the wisdom to let others do the same.

Let it be so.


Crossposted at Daily Kos

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Blogger Unknown on 10/26/2008 9:39 PM:

Geez, when you come back, you come back! Excellently done.

Sorry I haven't responded to your e-mail yet -- been a bit swamped on this end. Anyhow, great to have you back with us.