Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

a foolish consistency

Filed in Current Affairs :: October 5, 2009

Paul Krugman examines the Right's consistencies regarding Obama in The Politics of Spite. 

I reread Ralph Waldo Emerson's  "Self Reliance" and hope for more subtlety as well as more civility:

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored
by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a
great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself
with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words,
and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though
it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be
sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be
misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and
Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every
pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be

Take a chance at greatness, at being misunderstood.  Speak the hard words.  Don't parrot the lines of any ideology  for the sake of consistency alone.   We may not be in 1841 Concord, Massachusetts, but we can give it a try.