15,000 Gasps for Air
The most discouraging thing about Tuesday’s election results was the totality of it. From where I sit, voters made the wrong decisions at the local level, at the state level, and at the federal level. It isn’t my purpose, here, to begin the debate about why.
Suffice, for now, to say that those on the right have to find a way to better explain and communicate our society’s predicament in terms of causes and solutions. Folks in Rhode Island who say that the state is just too liberal for our ideas are missing the point. Those who tabulate Americans in a demographic tableau of the United States and project the trajectory of ideology and party are ultimately expressing a flawed, racist notion.
First, ideas can change. Human beings are rational; if we’re not, then all of the liberties of behavior that social liberals proclaim are little more than assertions that we’re free to be instinct-driven animals. We’ve reached our condition of advancement by, over time, adapting to reality in response not to physical stimuli, but to stimulating abstractions. Ideas.
And second, correct ideas are not regional or racial qualities. If we have correctly assessed the society in which we live (I think we have), and if we have some sense of the shape of the solutions (I think we do), then we must explain these things. It is not enough to lament that blacks don’t presently vote for a particular party. It is the wrong approach to begin with the objective of voicing the ideas that people already have in order to attract them to our political banner.
Our ideas should change because we’ve found better ones, not because we want them to be liked. To do otherwise would be marketing for marketing’s sake. Leave it to industry to prioritize the sale above the thing sold.
This is not the context in which I would have liked to observe that we’ve now reached the 15,000-posts line. It’s not a perfect count, I should note: that number includes all blogs on our back end, most substantially Dust in the Light.
But it still indicates a lot of words. A lot of ideas.
When we began Anchor Rising, eight years ago yesterday, we expressed the goal of progress for Rhode Island. Tuesday’s discouragement was that we have not seen it.
Nobody, back then, expected Rhode Island to have turned around by now. But it was reasonable to think Rhode Islanders would be giving signs of recognizing the problem. At best, they’re recognizing that there is a problem, which I suppose is a sort of pre-dawn light.
So, we enter another year and another term. We begin the next 15,000 posts, because when recognition comes, it will be helpful that so much has already been written.
Ideological minorities don’t (or shouldn’t) expect to effect an immediate revolution of ideas. But we can lay out an alternate case, so that as people awake to the fact that things must change (and if they don’t flee), it is with the possibility of asking, “What is it that they’ve been saying all these years?”