As a longtime moderate, and an increasingly raging one amidst the growing political polarization afflicting our country today, I have finally resolved as we start 2018 to launch this blog after several years of prior fits and starts.
Like Dobie Gray in his legendary song Drift Away, I take much of my inspiration in life from music (despite having no musical talent whatsoever). So it only seemed fitting to turn to some musical wisdom to get this blog started.
I have picked out ten songs I think will give a good frame for what it means to be a moderate and to highlight some of the big issues of the day where, more than ever, we need moderates to play a lead role to move things forward. While for the most part these songs are in no particular order, there really was only one song appropriate to lead things off.
That of course is the Rolling Stones classic, You can’t always get what you want, and you could call it the Raging Moderate anthem. The great philosopher Mick Jagger gave us some great words of wisdom for all walks of our lives that are particularly important in our political sphere today. We all will get a lot more of what we need if more of our politicians follow this practical guidance.
Holding up our ideas to the light of day and getting feedback from all sides helps to identify areas of common ground and ultimately makes it possible to get things done. And it leads to better ideas and better policies when we (respectfully) argue our positions with people who may see things differently, as a great column by Adam Grant in the New York Times recently highlighted.
I have seen all of this firsthand in my prior career as a litigator (where the vast majority of cases that pass initial muster end up settling), and in my current day job at The Chicago Bar Foundation, where we advocate on a range of policy issues impacting access to justice at all levels of government. And looking at the big issues facing our country where we confront seemingly perpetual gridlock today, I see countless opportunities to find common ground and move things forward if we can strengthen our proverbial middle.
So I’ll let those immortal words of the Rolling Stones kick off my quest to help move us in that direction. And I’ll unveil the remainder of my foundational top ten songs over the course of the next week, with two a day for the next few days and then the final one on it own to close out this opening loop. Thanks for coming along for the ride!