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Friday, May 01, 2009
A Modest Proposal to Change the World
Pete Seeger is 90. Good for him! You know it's possible to appreciate a person for their character even if you disagree with their politics. Many of us want the same things, we just disagree on how to get there. I love Pete Seeger's music and his great love for people and music and the world he lives in. The man is humble, sweet and utterly harmless.
The tragedy is that whatever your belief system, left, right or middlin', there are those who would co-opt your attempts to solve problems in the name of grabbing power for themselves. For every Pete Seeger there's a Joe Stalin. For every Ted Nugent there's a Sadaam Hussein!
It's too bad it's not up to people like Pete and Ted and most of the folks I've met on the Banjo Hangout, on Facebook and Virtual-Village.org (with a couple of notable evil power-mad exceptions). Pretty much anything we tried to make things better would work because we're all nice people. The problem is, they'd never put Pete or Ted or most of the folks on my friends lists in charge. The guys who seize power are almost inevitably people who crave power (and get kicked off my friends lists).
I'm terribly conservative and absolutely love Pete's music and I agree with what he wants to do. I want the rivers to be clean and people who mess up the world should clean up after themselves. I want hungry people to have food and for war to end. I can sing "If I Had a Hammer" and agree with every word.
That's why music is such a wonderful thing. If we really wanted to unite this country, we should look to folk musicians for an example of how to dialogue.
You make a big circle, everyone gets out their instruments and when it's your turn, someone will point to you and say "take it".
Everyone in Congress should be required to play a musical instrument well enough to carry a 60 second break. Take the desks out of the House and Senate and replace them with stools and mike stands.
Instead of banging a gavel the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate should tap the podium with a baton and go, "Uno, dos, tres, quatro......!" and then start that head bobbing thing.
CSPAN would at least be a lot more entertaining......
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain