Since I Am Not… May 12, 2012

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No, I am not a Republican. I have many friends who are. Likewise, I am not a Democrat–although I am honored with an equal number of comrades from that camp. I just don’t believe that the discoveries we make as human beings can be limited to one single point of view.

I realized many years ago that as an earth creature, I, as Jesus said, am bestowed with heart, soul, mind and strength. Each one of the political parties, in some way, shape or form, tries to lessen the effects of one or more of those four attributes of the human experience. It is not malicious–it’s just the way the traditions, platforms, platitudes and practices of their particular organization has viewed things over the years.

Since I am a heart (emotions), soul (spiritual), mind (intelligence) and strength (a body), I have no difficulty understanding that this nation we live in has basically the same four parts. So I will tell you how I view my patriotism and you can see what you think about it. I am not trying to evangelize or even promote my ideas. It’s just that I do not see them at work in the political parties–they are too busy trying to maintain distinctions between each other, and therefore, alienation from each other.

The heart of America, to me, is our sense of good cheer and fair play. This is what sets us apart from the rest of the world, which often stumbles on humor and compassion instead of pursuing it. When the United States can’t laugh at itself and fails to have a merciful attitude towards those in need, we’re no different from any other country. The heart of America is our good cheer and fair play. We have comedy clubs so we can go and celebrate that experience. We have even learned to laugh to escape the excesses of pain. What is missing from the parties is a sense of humor about themselves and fair play towards each other. I will not participate. The heart of America is good cheer and fair play–and when we become overly cranky or selfish, we just suck.

The soul of America is our deep, abiding belief that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Honestly, we have abandoned it many times in order to target specific groups out of prejudice. But we are the only country in the world that is a bastion for the idea that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” This is why I have made that statement my slogan for my touring in 2012. I am often bemused when I share it in front of audience members and the first response is silence, as the concept assimilates into their sensibilities, and they try to figure out if they actually believe it or not. There is no doubt that Hitler and his regime would still rule the world if he had actually believed that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” What brought him down was not a lack of power or technology, but rather, his incessant bigotry, which caused him to be paranoid towards those who worked around him, making him suspicious of their motives, and prompted him to commit genocide on an entire race of people. We should take heed. We are a nation of immigrants, Therefore, we cannot piously discuss how we’re going to close our borders to the rest of the world. Obviously, we cannot have a policy of allowing people to come into the country without some sort of procedure–but the answer to the question has to contain the initial agreement that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” It is our soul–and when we start competing with each other for supremacy, we lose any part of God that may have been with us at our founding.

The mind of this nation, in my opinion, is the Bill of Rights. How ingenious it was of those who ratified the Constitution to immediately realize that the main danger in interpreting the document would be to limit personal freedoms to gain corporate improvement. The Bill of Rights is a reminder that the United States is primarily a country that extols freedom above all else. Neither political party is willing to accept the Bill of Rights in its entirety. Each one of them wants to limit the power of the individual to make choices  for him or herself.

And finally, the strength of our country is our creativity. We don’t have a history of discussing ideas, but rather, with experimenting and implementing them, and letting them evolve until they become functioning parts of our system. When you take away creativity in medical research, you end up with miles and miles of red tape instead of possibilities for healing for those who are struggling with disease. When you take away creativity from government, we pass laws that are a mere shadow of what was actually needed to generate change. When you take away creativity from the arts, you become a nation which culls through the repertoire of previous eras to try to make the latest revival of something that’s already been done. And when you take creativity away from spirituality, you end up with a religion that clumsily interferes in people’s lives instead of enhancing them. We built this nation through creativity and we will destroy it if we begin to believe that we have enough.

So, as you can see, that’s why I am unable to become a Republican or a Democrat. Neither party will hold these four principles as sacrosanct, or even recognize their importance.

But it is why I love this country.

  • We have a heart of fair play and good cheer.
  • At our soul is the consecrated notion that “NoOne is better than anyone else.”
  • We have a mind that puts a Bill of Rights–freedom of the individual–before corporate greed or political avarice.
  • And we have a strength that is based on building a reputation through our creativity instead of force of might.

My contention is that if we return to these principles, we can also return to a sense of mission that gives us place in this world as “a city set on a hill for all to see.”

So let me know what you think. But please do not bore me with false claim that any of the political parties “hold these truths to be self-evident.” I learned a long time ago that you cannot establish a philosophy merely based upon how you disagree with your opponent. In a matter of seconds, I can give you three things that the Democrats have done that I agree with and three things the Republicans have done that I likewise concur over. I can also give you long lists where I oppose both of them.

America has a heart, a soul, a mind and a strength–just like me. Because after all, America is me.

  

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