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…

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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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