The Primary Season, the Way of Politics


There are many things we encounter in the Primary Season. Too many to recount here.

So I will use the law of three, and recount three.

Opposition. Need. Reconciliation.

We encounter opposition, we generate opposition, we oppose others, sometimes we oppose ourselves.

We address needs, we point to needs, we have needs, sometimes we create needs.

We, eventually, consider reconciliation.

More, over the fold.

36. Opposition

To reduce someone’s influence, first expand it;

To reduce someone’s force, first increase it;

To overthrow someone, first exalt them;

To take from someone, first give to them.

This is the subtlety by which the weak overcome the strong:

Fish should not leave their depths,

And swords should not leave their scabbards.

We have, after all, too many swords out of too many scabbards, but when a sword is drawn and not returned, it will sooner or later rust and break.

77. Need

Is the action of nature not unlike drawing a bow?

What is higher is pulled down, and what is lower is raised up;

What is taller is shortened, and what is thinner is broadened;

Nature’s motion decreases those who have more than they need

And increases those who need more than they have.

It is not so with Man.

Man decreases those who need more than they have

And increases those who have more than they need.

To give away what you do not need is to follow the Way.

So the sage gives without expectation,

Accomplishes without claiming credit,

And has no desire for ostentation.

… and so we insist that the one thing that is impossible is to be have a sage President, since we demand accomplishments for which credit can be and has been claimed, and demand that the lack of desire for ostentation be displayed as ostentatiously as can be arranged.

79. Reconciliation

When conflict is reconciled, some hard feelings remain;

This is dangerous.

The sage accepts less than is due

And does not blame or punish;

For harmony seeks agreement

Where justice seeks payment.

The ancients said: “nature is impartial;

Therefore it serves those who serve all.”

World War I ended with a demand that the losers refund the victors the cost of their victory, and the Economic Consequences of the Peace of Versailles helped pave the way for the Great Depression and the rise of fascism through Europe. World War II ended with something less than that demand … not as shining and noble as is sometimes portrayed, certainly not to the level of this contemplation but, still, less than a refund of the cost of the victory.

And from the ashes of defeat emerged, by slow, faltering steps at first and then greater, two of the three great markets of our world economy, the European Union and Sino-Japan.

How much less hard should it be, when the primary process has run its course, sometime in March or May, to achieve reconciliation inside the Democratic Party?


    • BruceMcF on January 8, 2008 at 5:59 pm
    • kj on January 8, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    of leaving all dinosaurs behind. Let them battle each other toothless, fall behind, falter, die out. Future generations can muck over their bones.

  1. What is dry and brittle is easily broken.  What is soft and subtle bends.

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