Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Good Story

None of us walk around saying to ourselves that most of what we know about life, loving, and living we learned from stories, if not directly then indirectly. Stories are so much a part of our lives we don't even notice that we are being told or telling stories all the time.

The act of teaching through storytelling goes back to the beginning of man. Storytelling is the most important tool societies have. Stories are the foundation that nations are built upon.

The Bible uses stories to teach morality, man's relationship to others and to God...All of us remember our Sunday school lessons along with stories of 'The Little Engine That Could, A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland, and Bambi.' They are such a part of children's lives and integrated so well that as adults we don't often notice they are lessons learned through stories someone told us....No matter the topic of conversation, stories will be woven into the discussion.

Parents shape their children with stories, teachers add to the shaping with stories, society reinforces the lessons in the stories. The most important thing about teaching with stories is that the message must be a consistent. How to be good and how to do good… what is bad and what is good… what we should or should not do…No matter the setting, there is the right story for the context directly or by inference.

The national media understands the importance of consistent storytelling.We can also include politicians. ( The story of the moment or the day.) We know, even when the stories they are telling us are wrong, or we know they are leaving out parts, so they can reshape the story to achieve a certain outcomes, we still listen. We listen because we were all taught to listen when stories were being told and, most importantly, we trust stories. But even when we don't fully buy into one of the liberal media's 'tall tales' many people will begin to question, to some degree, their own beliefs and reality. A story delivered really well, such as the State of the Union address this past week, will change some people's beliefs, ideas, and values.

Stories told by a good teller of tales are mightier than the pen or the sword to the listener. Today, in this election cycle, we find ourselves knee deep in storytelling and are impacted by good storytellers… Think what you will of the man as a leader, but Obama may well be the best deliverer of stories most of us have experienced in our lifetimes.

The task for us in all of this is to keep our focus… For the Tea Party the backbone in this campaign is to 'take our government back,' which is so broad and encompassing anyone, we can hang almost any notion onto it. Politicians know this about our goal and that is why they can dance around the edges giving the impression that 'they' will govern at our consent and that their belief in the governing process is the same as ours.…. This would be somewhat funny and maybe even clever if it hadn't been done over and over in the last twenty or so election cycles. Would-be candidates as well as thread bare incumbents keep telling the same time worn stories we want them to tell, but making the stories convincing is getting harder and harder…. (Romney was the first governor to create a state mandated health care program. Says he is proud of it and says he holds conservative values.) I wonder what part of this the voter can't seem to get?

This brings us back to the saying, "Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice and then the shame falls elsewhere.

There isn't any perceived need for most of our voters to keep up with or to participate in the governing process. They don't feel connected to it… Therefore there is little or no interest. For so many their lives are a pay-check-to-paycheck struggle. It crowds out everything else. For them government is about promises that will make their lives easier but are only understood by media sound bites.

How we think about something leads to preconceived answers and predictable actions. That is what national parties rely on along with the politicians and liberal media. Know that it doesn't matter if we are talking about Republicans or Democrats, incumbent, first time candidate, ABC, CBS, Fox, or CNN. The political establishment encompasses both parties and the news media indebted to and symbiotically entwined. Powerful combo…. How can a relatively small group of demeaned conservative voters hope to take on this powerful combo?

Well it has happened before…. Once upon a time there was a candidate, who was principled, held traditional Christian beliefs, and was able to articulate American conservative values simply and directly. He told the story of America…. Who Americans are… What America is… and what America can be tomorrow…He had a dream of America being the light of the world and the home of free men… In our hearts and minds we believed his story and were part of his dream… many disagreed but all understood… This simply spoken candidate beat an incumbent president worse than any president had been beaten in the history of presidents.

He's gone but we are still here and his dream is still with us in mind and spirit.

Google does its job and presents me with twenty to thirty political articles before my four thirty coffee making. In the years I have been reading these kinds of articles I have never seen so many comments posted by the other readers of these articles. It is a massive and consistent response. I began to see the responses build before the South Carolina voting. Since Gingrich did well at the polls the comments have quadrupled. Gingrich supporters are posting but the majority of the post are simply attacking Gingrich with vicious language. This is happening to such a degree it looks like it's well planned and coordinated. If it is not then woe to the conservative movement. Actually this is not as bothersome as attacks I see on Tea blogs around the country.

It is possible that the meaning of the term "conservative" has changed and I didn't notice. The national Republican Party's candidate does not fit into my notion of what conservative means. I know that some wiser than I can see the difference between Romneycare and Obamacare. If this was the only red flag I would just pass it off as , "Oh well. He slipped up." I personally don't care that he is rich, or that he is a Mormon, or that he's wimpy. I do care that he is saying Obamacare is wrong and he wants to fix it with the idea it would still be a national health plan..I do care that he seems to be without principles. We need a leader. America is not a balance sheet that can be read and modified.

I see Obama in front of a camera and I see Romney in front of a camera and if history tells us anything one is a better teller of stories than the other.That is what moves hearts and minds.

However, I can imagine Newt and Obama in front of cameras having a debate in front of the nation and would be willing bet a 'Big Mac' that the outcome would be very different. But, and it’s a big BUT, can this happen? Will the liberal press let this happen? Given the savage comments posted at these various political articles directed at Newt I wonder…. It is unique to see how 'conservatives' rationalize Romney with his Romneycare, which strikes at the very heart of the conservative beliefs, but Gingrich doesn't get an inch …. Or for any mistakes he has made in his life while in the same moment forgetting how long he has served and all he has accomplished for the country.

There is an adage for the consumer, "You get what you pay for." The American consumer bought Obama and now it seems the conservative consumers are buying Romney.

Seldom do I quote scripture but today John 1: 8-9 is bouncing around in my computer's memory: " If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and forgive us our sins." Biblical teachings point us towards a way to live our lives. Often we come up short even though we know the right thing to do.

David Axelrod, Obama's campaign manager, took his first shot at Romney today… This is starting earlier that most had imagined. Axelrod was raising the question, "Is it right for Romney to have all this money when so many have little to none?" Kennedy beat Romney in the campaign for the Senate seat by focusing of this issue as well as how Romney made his money. Obama was busy yesterday refocusing Gingrich's call on him being the biggest food stamp president by saying, "Its not me but George Bush." I guess the label of 'food stamp president' was seen as a potential negative voter issue. Obama has the pulpit for the next nine months and not the GOP candidate.

In forty eight hours we will know who the Florida voters bet their future on.


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