Hi, Nick here. I’ve been watching the news and hearing about all the bizarre stuff happening out there, as I’m sure you have. And I find myself asking the same question over and over: Where are all the moderates? Why aren’t we hearing from them?
For instance, where are the moderate Muslims? Families who love each other, pray and cook together, live in community and abide by the law? And where are the people of influence in that arena? The ones who do not approve of or support what ISIS is doing? I know there’s a ton of them. Why aren’t they speaking out?
Where are the moderate Republicans? The ones who created the National Park system and the Clean Air Act. The ones, like Teddy Roosevelt and Senator Robert La Follette Sr., who broke up the trusts and fought big interests (the obscenely wealthy JP Morgan types who were indifferent to child labor, 16 hour work days etc. as long as they could get away with it, all in the name of profit). Who believed, and still believe, in success through education and hard work; and that if, with help, all citizens do well then the country does well. Yes, in TR’s day they were elites, Harvard grads from wealthy privileged families. But there was a sense – no, a strong feeling of duty – to give back, to help those in need. Where are they today?
The vocal Republicans these days seem like a handful of spoiled individuals who want their “freedoms.” It’s as if they’re the youngest child who knows that everyone’s tired and if they just make enough noise, they’ll get their way (no matter that its at the cost of everyone else). As for the Democrats, they seem to fit the model of the appeasing ‘middle’ child, the peacemaker who just doesn’t like conflict. Not the FDR Democrats, that’s for sure, willing to fight for the needs and rights of the little guy. These days the Dems will roll over anytime.
And where are the moderate parents? The ones who still teach their children the value of kindness, caring, self-responsibility, gratitude and initiative. Who don’t spoil and helicopter-hover, but who teach, with love and gentleness, that there are consequences when you don’t do the right thing. That we are all a part of the whole. That, but for luck, hard work and circumstance, you could be that poor guy out there on the street who needs a hand up so be prepared now and then to reach out and offer one when needed.
I guess what I really want to ask is, in general, where is the leadership we so strongly need?
OK. Well, that’s frustrating. Let’s shake that frustration off and shift gears. Let’s talk about two great performers who’re on eTown this week (how’s that for an abrupt transition?):
Our good friend Dave Alvin (of X, The Blasters and The Knitters fame) is a killer songwriter, Grammy winner, sought after session musician, acclaimed producer and respected solo artist (Rolling Stone magazine dubbed him “an under-recognized guitar hero,” and with good reason). Dave is one of these people who has a totally recognizable voice. As soon as you hear him sing or talk, you know it’s him. Great guy. And a great talent.
Also with us, gifted young musician Max Gomez, who learned guitar at a tender age and started crafting songs not long after. Still in his 20’s, he’s got the writing chops of someone much more seasoned. I think you’re going to like what he has to offer.
The award story is great too, really cool couple of guys doing cool stuff.
It’s a good combo this week. Hope you like it. Let’s come together and share some great music and some food for thought.