I’m about to do something I won’t do very often on my blog. I’m going to post commentary from someone else. This is a rarity, because I’m using my blog as a means to share my thoughts with the world. But sometimes, someone else’s thoughts or words so closely overlap my own, or convey something I’ve been thinking about and trying to say so well, that I just have to share what they’re saying and help spread their ideas.
This is one such case.
I will say, right off the bat, that I am not generally a big fan of Van Jones. I’ve seen a lot of him on CNN, and I saw a lot LOT of him during the 2016 election season. As a rule, he is a reliable one-note partisan instrument, or, to put it another way, the tritone of the left.
However, it seems that since the last time I heard from him, he has done a some soul searching, and some empathetic thinking, going a bit deeper into what happened in 2016 than his histrionic “Whitelash” comment in the immediate aftermath. I applaud him for thinking about a difficult subject that is obviously painful for him in a deep and empathetic manner, and in trying to sincerely understand why people may have different beliefs or vote differently than him.
The first few minutes of this video are essential listening for anyone on the left who wants to understand the 2016 election, or what average American conservatives are thinking and feeling lately. In the last few minutes he talks about some ways that conservatives appear to many people, and I think he’s right that they come off this way not only to people on the left, but to many people in the middle. He also discusses a few things that conservatives can do better, or should be able to do better regarding reaching out to minority voters. I disagree with some of his assumptions and some of the details, but all in all, I think he’s expressing several things that are deeply true, that we need to sort out in order to heal this country. Things that both liberals and conservatives can do better.
Again, I must applaud him for his effort, and while I have not been a fan of his punditry historically, I must be able to forgive and be empathetic to him, if I want people to forgive and be empathetic to me.
Please watch this when you can, and share with as many people as you can. I think this dialogue, and trying to do more of this with each other, will do us all some good.
Here it is: