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Hometown: GA
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,975

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My visceral reaction is to decry "compassionate conservatism"

as an oxymoronic concept.

Your thoughtful analysis helps me understand (thought not appreciate) the mindset that makes such a position appealing.

Emphasizing points of agreement (such as "Productive work is a societal good that should be encouraged" ) is a good start toward building consensus among parties that are arrayed across the political spectrum.

I could never support the GOP's goal of government-sponsored faith-based initiatives -- and I certainly don't subscribe to the right wing idea that beneficiaries of social programs are by definition slackers.

In a different area, there is -- for example -- a lot of potential for agreement among hunters & fishermen and environmentalists. Their interests are compatible in many ways. We need to focus on those points of agreement rather than excoriating hunters as "animal killers" or letting them paint us as "granola-eating tree huggers."

Full disclosure: I actually am a granola-eating tree hugger, but you get the idea. My granddaddy was a hunter and an environmentalist. There are more out there -- we need to find them and work with them.

These are discussions that we'll continue to have, and the answers may (and most likely will) be different in various states and districts. We need to inspire progressives to devote their energies to the cause, while not losing reasonable moderates who agree with us on some policies but not all.

Centrists lose me when they say "To hell with 'Leftists'" and focus only on how to attract and appease conservatives. Leftists lose me when they say "There's no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats."

Your post offers some insight about how to sift through these ideas and positions and find ways to win without resorting to either scorched-earth tactics or appeasement.

Great music from countries we're supposed to despise and fear

"Adouma" by Angelique Kidjo from Benin:

Not to mention you could actually learn something about the music.

The average Spotify listener generally has no idea who the band members are on the tracks they're listening to. I learned a lot about music and musicians' work by reading liner notes and personnel listings on LP covers, particular in the jazz realm.

I'd see the list of band members and think, "Oh, Ben Riley! He played with Monk -- this might be good." Or "Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder? I'm in!" Or I'd read an essay by Nat Hentoff or Ralph Gleason or Orrin Keepnews and learn something about the artists or the music -- often standing in a record store, where this new knowledge would send me to a different bin in search of new treasures to take home.

Same for rock music. And some helpful artists would even include lyrics for those of us unable to decipher words mumbled in a fake (or sometimes authentic) Southern accent.

And then, of course, there's the issue of rolling joints -- without the LP cover of Traffic's John Barleycorn Must Die or Coltrane's A Love Supreme, who can craft a tight, seedless doobie anymore?

And the artwork! LPs allowed a fantastic flourishing of album cover art that is hard to match in a cramped CD booklet (or Spotify / Pandora interface).

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