Thursday, November 04, 2004

Futurballa on the Future

My dear friend and (sometimes) political counterpoint George Wallace, has a thoughtful piece on the future of the democratic party and the political landscape in general, over at his blog, A Fool in the Forest. I think he makes some very fair and reasonable statements, and reading his posting had the further benefit of nudging me into writing about some of my own thoughts on the subject of, what next.

My thoughts are nothing new in the post 2/11 world. Amy Sullivan, over at Washington Monthly has written on similar subjects for quite some time. However, I think I have an unique perspective, because I'm a Jewish, died in the wool Democrat, born and raised, pro-choice, pro-union, pro-environment, and happen to be married to an evangelical Christian. My wife is a very reasonable woman, and we agree to disagree on many subjects. She is actually not one of the 51% who voted for Bush, though I'm not sure if she supported Kerry or abstained.

She has a great heart and is deeply troubled by every death in Iraq. Both our soldiers and every Iraqi life being lost for a war that seems to be a personal matter for the persons in charge at the moment, and not a part of the war on terrorism, strikes her as a tragedy. And while she agrees with Bush on a number of social issues, she does accept my premise that social justice in society is also a moral issue.

One point that she has made to me numerous times is that Democrats need to learn to talk to people of faith. She says that she often feels that the left is condescending and often downright insulting to people who hold her viewpoints. Democrats need to understand this, going forward. We certainly can have common ground with people of faith, as my marriage is living proof. And don't misunderstand me, I would not compromise on our core values regarding Choice, for example. But there is so much that we can have in common with many of our church going brethren. There are many religious Christians who do struggle with the war in Iraq, who struggle with tax cuts for the wealthiest, and who struggle with the rape of the planet.

What we need to do is frame the debate on these issues as a moral issue, which it is. And we need to accept that people can differ with us on issues like abortion without calling them stupid. To me, as a Jew, issues of social justice, caring for the earth, fighting for peace, do resonate with my religion. And they can resonate with Christians as well, if only we can learn to not be afraid to talk to them on equal terms, and not be afraid to use the language of faith when discussing these issues.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:04 PM

    I agree that it is important to learn how to talk to Christians about the issues. (In fact it is a big concern of mine). But I also believe we need to be able to talk to Jews about Israel. I have a few Jewish friends that support Bush, because of his stance on Israel. They believe that the Iraq War is making the Middle East safer for Israel. Or that the Bush admin's hands-off approach to Israel & Palestine is beneficial. It's hard for me to talk to these friends on this issue, because it is so primal for them. Not all of my friends, but certainly a percentage of them. I think if this problem could be solved, the balance might tip. It is not a full solution to ending the polarization in the country, but might be a nice step along the road to it.

    --Geoff

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