Monday, August 29, 2016

It Takes Time But, Eventually, They Catch Up

I have long been familiar (and weary) of the old line that "a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged."  I recently found a nice counterpoint to it, however:  "a liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."  Very true.

But, mainly, in my experience, a conservative is someone consistently behind liberals when it comes to catching up to reality.  Whether it's the need for paid family leave, or even their own perfidy in creating an environment in which there is no framework for debate, they catch up and fess up.  It takes time. Sometimes, an unconscionable amount of time.  But, sooner or later, they get there.

The trouble now is, however, that, in a digital age, it may not be possible to be patient with the slowness of their ability to catch up.  Sometimes, they may do it just on time.  Sometimes, not yet, but sometimes in the future, it may be too late.  For some of us.  For all of us.

This may be another way of saying that, in an age in which events and our responses to them move at the speed of light, democracy may just accelerate the pace at which one or more dictatorships spring up.  Or, more optimistically, it may be another justification for having a system of government like ours, where power is divided, and "speed bumps" are built into the pace of change.

What I do know for certain is that there is no excuse for dropping out, and hoping for a better candidate, party or leader.  In a democracy, you are always your own best leader.  And, when you use your voice in combination with others, and without giving up, you do have the power to prevent the devil from taking the hindmost.  You thus bring the hindmost along with you, into a future that you have believed in and one that they could never have envisioned.

So don't give up.  Not in 2016, and not ever.  As Barack Obama once said, you are the change you seek.  Don't sit on it.  Make it.

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