Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Real Soul

I want to say something about my party," John said. "I'm so tired of incremental, careful caution. Where is our soul? Where is our soul? We are [at] our most powerful when we speak from here" -- he touched his heart -- "and not from a poll."
Time to take stock, John.

At first, I was worried that maybe you weren't doing enough to let real people see the 'real' you. I thought that was the only problem.

I thought that might be because you were so involved at the center of your campaign, and so controlled by the intricate choreography of it, that you simply weren't allowing yourself to get to ordinary folk.

And don't go believing your own press, John. 'Getting out' is not 'getting to' the people. You are never so alone when you are at the center of a crowd. On a platform. Behind a mike. Remembering the phrases from that last focus group poll.

But now, I have another fear. In a way it's the same problem, but in reverse. Now, I 'm troubled that, being so in control, you are allowing that control to keep you out of touch. With reality.

There are too may continuing miscues, missteps, mistakes...hmm, I'm beginning to sound a bit like an old, broken record.

Listen John. I'm going to give this a rest for a while. I'm still with you. But there are problems you need to address - in my opinion. You know what they are. I've covered them already. And you know what I think would be a large part of the solution.

I want you to pop down to your local radio station. I want you to give a grass-roots interview. No props. Totally open and honest. From the heart.

I want you to address the issues you are not addressing.

I want you to address them in a way that you are not - at the moment.

I want you to deal with the disconnect between your rhetoric and your actions.

I want you to tell ordinary people why the issue of poverty is so important.

I want you to tell those regular folk why they should trust you to keep your promises - all of them; not just the ones about alleviating poverty.

I want you to convince all of us that changing your mind and being calculating will not mean that you will change your mind about poverty, and 'calculate' that its elimination is not so important, once you get to the White House.

I want you to explain your specifics, without the hedging and the fudging you are employing at the moment.

I want to give you a real opportunity to convince ordinary working folk that you are not the same old, same old - that you are, indeed, a breath of fresh air.

And I want to give you the best opportunity possible to speak to and to speak for real working class people.

Of course, you can go on avoiding the invitation. But there it is. It's open. I don't need to go on reminding you.

In the meantime, you know what might be useful, John? Aside from picking on you? It might be interesting if I spent a little time explaining just why I am so passionate about the plight of America's poor.

And if I did this by sharing with you and with my other readers the journey that brought me to this conversation with them and with you.

Why? Because in so many ways, John, when I look at you, I see parts of me.

One of the biggest criticisms of me is that I am overly calculating. But I'm not. I mean, yes, I calculate. I can't help the brain that God gave me. And I care enough about what I do, to care about doing it in a way that gives it the best chance of success. But I'm not calculating.

I try to help those of my friends who are less fortunate than myself. I feel about them the way you say you feel about working people. In your anecdotes. I just wish I had the same opportunity as you to help so many more disadvantaged people.

So. When I see what I see in your Campaign, John. When I see what I am seeing with you. When, in particular, I see what may be disconnect. The possibility, however remote, that you may not be exactly who you say you are. I want to do something about it. I want to help you get back on message.

And I believe that a grass-roots radio interview with me would really help to start that process.

But, as I say, John, I think it only fair that you get to see why I believe all of this so fervently. And so you will.

In among the continuing commentaries, I will include some autobiographical notes about me, my journey to this conversation, and to my conversion to the cause of eliminating poverty in America.

In other words, 'the real story' about me...

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