Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

The Audacity of Leadership

I once ripped the audio version of The Audacity of Hope by one Barack Obama (the publicity campaigns that some authors will go to ensure book sales!). I have never bothered erasing it. At the gym, armed with my iPod shuffle,  I might be pounding the treadmill to the beat of Alanis Morissette one moment and then the next focusing on President Obama’s rich voice. Beyond inspiring messages, a chapter of his book can take up several minutes of exercise time – a serious consideration to help shed the pounds.

Now I really got into his Presidential election and I suspect I wasn’t the only one since a few people voted for him. Yesterday, while listening to his book I heard something like: we need to create a new political model that goes beyond the bi-partisanship and with focused cooperation will bring more effective legislation (these are my words, I know you said it better, Mr. President).

I want to share that, while I am still a big supporter, I have become frustrated with the Democrats (when they held the house and senate), playing too nice to the Republicans. I think this has been an influence of the President, but has yielded little reciprocation – in fact we saw the birth of the Tea Party and the rise of some very scary characters.

While getting down on POTUS, I then saw this bumper sticker today and it made me rethink.

Maybe it is not so audacious to still hope…


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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