Trying to Protect What I Keep Inside

In the process of trying to shift my secondary blog focus from politics to something resembling economics, or at least philosophical economics, I keep running into bits and pieces of things that remind me of politics and the current argument raging through the blogger community.

Stangely enough, here’s another Tracy Chapman songs that seems particularly relevant:


All you folks think you own my life
You never made any sacrifice
Demons they are on my trail
Standing at the crossroads of the hell
I look to the left I look to the right
Hands that grab me on every side

All you folks think I got my price
At which I’ll sell all that is mine
You think money rules when all else fails
Go sell your soul keep your shell
I’m trying to protect what I keep inside
All the reasons why I live my life

Some say the devil be a mystical thing
I say the devil he a walking man
He a fool he a liar conjurer and a thief
Try to tell you what you want
Try to tell you what you need

Standing at the point
The road it cross you down
What is at your back
Which way do you turn
Who’ll come to find you first
Your devils or your gods

All you folks think you run my life
Say I should be willing to compromise
I say all you demons go back to hell
I’ll save my soul save myself

I’ll admit to being a pragmatist in politics and am willing to accept compromise as a necessity in politics. I have no illusions that a majority of people is ever going to see life, and the world, the way I do. Let’s face it, anyone who sees the world through the lens of poetry is obviously part of a very small minority. I’d have to be completely delusional to believe that I’m ever going to convince the rest of the world to see the world the way I do.

I’ve always believed everyone has a right to their own beliefs, but that’s never made me willing to give up my own beliefs. Call it an INTP failure, but I’m stuck living in this world according to my own vision, even if that makes me a minority of one.

It does, however, reassure me a little that Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird was voted one of the greatest 20th century movie heroes because it shows that an awful lot of us share his beliefs even if we don’t always live up to them.

In the end, the most important person you have to live with is the one inside your skin. If you don’t live by your deepest truths, you have not only failed your self, you have failed your community.

It should be obvious that I would not be comfortable being part of the Democratic party if they were to move too far to the right in order to win the popular vote. If that were to happen, I’d probably shift my support to a 3rd party because I’d rather lose an election than sacrifice my basic values. As Atticus says, “before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

What I would really like to see is the Democrats do a better job of selling their vision of America to voters. If a majority of Americans subscribe to Atticus’ view of the world, then the Democratic Party ought to be able to put forward a candidate that could win a majority of the vote without sacrificing their fundamental rights and counter the Republican spin that they somehow reflect America’s best traditions and values.