Music by which to think about running
On April 8 the Panama chapter of Democrats Abroad elects a new board and officers. I am currently not on the board, but I have been. I worked awfully hard to deliver a 71% victory for Bernie Sanders last year, then also put in a lot of effort in the losing general election campaign for Hillary Clinton. The latter I did not because I love Hillary and the policies for which she stands all that much, but because I knew the alternative, which we see unfolding today. And I see what has to be done — not vain and ultimately idle talk of impeachment or treason trials, but a relentless campaign between now and November of 2018 to cripple Donald Trump by throwing the Republicans out of power in one or both houses of Congress. And at the same time, laying the foundation for a fair and democratic process of choosing a Democratic nominee in 2020 — something we were in large part denied in 2016, and something that involves some battles with some entrenched peope who intend to rig things again. I surely want to be a part of this — but in what sort of a role?
And I think, with some of my favorite music playing, about what an imperfect character I am. Who am I, with all of the nasty things that people can truthfully say about me? One thing is, a kid who went to Sunday School at the Margarita Union Church, and liked the tales of the Old Testament prophets and heroes, all of whom had feet of clay. Who am I? I served the Ypsilanti, Michigan city council when I was young, then as an appointed member of that city’s building code appeals board. I worked my precint in Ypsilanti — for which I was the elected Democratic precinct delegate — for Jesse Jackson both times, and he won the primaries in that mostly white neighborhood both times. He famously said, and advised everybody to remind herself or himself, “I am somebody.” But me? I like the way that the 1980s British two-tone band, The Specials, put it: “Just because you’re nobody, it doesn’t mean that you’re no good.”
And so I think and write. The music that I like, and that inspires me, also says something about me. With this stuff playing in the headphones — or with my ears turned and eyes upon and entire attention directed at something else — should I run for chair?
Jimi Hendrix – Villanova Junction
Third World – Freedom Song
Zoé – Labios Rotos
Mahalia Jackson – How I Got Over
Natalia Lafourcade – Antes de Huir
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Jefferson Airplane – We Can Be Together
The MC5 – Ramblin’ Rose
Newen Afrobeat with Seun Kuti & Cheick Tidiane Seck – Opposite People
R.E.M. – Losing My Religion
Nina Simone – Sinnerman
Bob Marley – The Heathen
Tool – No Quarter
Aretha Franklin – People Get Ready
Marcia Griffiths – Steppin’ Out a Babylon
Rómulo Castro – La Rosa de Los Vientos
Vari@s Colombian@as por la Paz – Soy Capaz
The Cranberries – Zombie
Yusuf Islam – Peace Train
Kafú Banton – No Me Hablen de Bala
Thelonious Monk – Live In ’66 Norway & Denmark concerts
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