I sometimes think, and this needs space, to think about it, reflection, a lens, about those of us who one day are children and one day some form, at least, of politician. America, being the experiment, Magna Carta, English law in its background, the principle of religious freedom, supposedly, an act which took a lot of balls and work...
A politician, in the working sense, considering how the ideal of a democracy might work... is a person who's talked to many many people. That's it. That's the definition. All ye need know. Lots of experience, of the blank sort. The picture of Lincoln departing from Springfield, Illinois, comes to mind. He's standing there, in a white suit?, in front of a high beamed particular house with its fence around it, and there's the whole town around him. His life had been around people. In a time when you couldn't avoid it, but to do it to his extent, his openness, from tavern partner, postman, surveyor, anywhere you go, reading, backward and forward, you find a Lincoln amongst people, and you, reader, given all your sophistication and doubt and cynicism, know what this writer means.
Why do I use the term politician? What has it come to mean, anyway? What does it mean? What's the use, what's the secret soulful vision within that lets us function in this strange realm imposed upon us, through email and now a prying through the news and a careful sustenance of one's own sensibilities, and perhaps a subscription to Reader Supported News, or NPR, or the BBC, or just as broad a net as you can cast, but really, importantly, based on your own sense of history, your own one, that comes from your guts, your own sense of people, human character, and that character displayed by individuals. Really, if you put your mind to it, you can tell who is a shit and who is not, and given basic study of humanity, it seems that, by committee, as Lincoln himself might have said, hopefully, on a good day, 51% of the people will make a , what? what can you even call it now, given the confusion, FOX Five will come and attack it with their whatever subterfuge crap, the people will understand, listen and do the right thing, which has no party, no cut out allegiance, certainly not to Wall Street, certainly not the Industrial Complex that a decent man Ike twitched at, they will do the right thing, eventually.
"I have seen many towns and many faces, and I have talked to many many people." This is the poem of someone who would offer us truth out of confusion, without any agenda but basic sensible things, things involving the basic environment each, all of us, live in, all the time, from moment to moment, year to year.
"I have talked to many people, I have met them face to face. I've talked with them, awkwardly, of course, but we tried to get comfortable at least, lose some of the ego, and I would hope to be an example of that, 'look, here, I am with you,' And I, the better, the broader, the more democratic, more the hick who fancies circumspection, takes all the professionals who make their money as a priest ultimately would take a confession."
But it is that vigor that that kind of person, who's sat and listened to everyone he can, who can keep it all together, keep all of us relaxed as we can, and when we're relaxed, at least we are not in war. That is the essence of the moment and the meaning.
I would bet McGovern was a far better man than Nixon for all the people he'd come across and listened to. I would applaud both Jack and Bobby for their instinctive immersion in a country's people and a country's problems. The rest, the icy professionals, stay sequestered, work with special interests, an automatic part of their personalities.
An Obama type is meant to campaign against things like Citizens United--the most clever and insidious misnomer ever created, as it must be applied to and live in a cynical world of monetary power--and yet once elected must begin the fight to be reelected, rather than taking on a deeper moral issue.