The final song of my top ten to kick off this blog is quite a bit different than the first nine songs on my list: The Middle, by Jimmy Eat World. Yet it somehow seemed like a no-brainer for this one to bookend the Raging Moderate anthem I led off with.
No, it does not have the same social significance as the other songs I have showcased. But it’s aptly called “the Middle,” it features some solid music and advice, and it concludes with some wisdom that is especially important to keep in mind in the Kafkaesque political climate our current President is fueling: “everything will be alright.”
On this day when we recall the legacy of one of our nation’s heroes in Martin Luther King, one of his many famous quotes comes to mind here: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Dr. King didn’t mean this would happen automatically or without struggle, just that the moral imperative is unassailable and will always be a guiding light in the longer march towards justice. It is incumbent on all of us to use that guiding light to continue the march through thick and thin.
And today brings to mind another Dr. King classic we moderates should never forget: his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” where he called out white moderates for failing to stand up to the injustices of racism.
That letter is a good reminder that being a moderate does not and cannot mean having no principles. I’ll talk more about my own guiding principles in coming posts, and the values Dr. King cited in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech are core among them. While we may disagree about the specific policies for how to best fulfill that dream, as Americans we can never question that the fundamental principles he laid out in his speech should guide us and are never open to compromise.
Well, that does it for the musical wisdom to get things started for the blog. While my next few posts will be more traditional musings with varied sources of inspiration, as I noted in my opening post, music will be a recurring inspiration for me and will regularly pop in the blog. In the meantime, you can hear where I get all of my musical inspiration–for the blog and otherwise–on Chicago’s WXRT, the finest radio station in the land!
Thanks for sticking with me so far!