An admission: My instincts are all Rodney King: Can’t we all get along? I’m conflict averse, accommodating, arguably milquetoast. That’s partly my nature and partly the result of living in a very small town where political divisions are radical and getting-along is crucial. So, I spent most of my adult life trying to see the other side, being equivocal, siding with reasonableness. My essay “Caucus” (North American Review 294:3-4, May-August 2009, ) told the story of how attending our small town Democratic caucuses in the thick of the Bush era changed me.
“After the caucus, I began to ally myself more seriously and more strictly with liberal Democrats. I understood the irony, of course, that it had been precisely that kind of behavior that had sent me reeling. The Us-ness of flag waving conservatives. The Us-ness of anti-government types. But it didn’t matter. I’d had it. I wanted to be Us. Without apologies.” Continue reading