Unconventional Wisdom

AllenUnconventional Wisdom

By Allen Wilson

The convention wisdom for a political candidate running for a federal office dictates that certain steps are followed in a certain order. For instance, an exploratory committee is formed. Their first order of business is to look at the fund raising potential of the candidate. In fact, before popularity is considered, before ideology is discussed, before a legislative goal is formulated, money is addressed.

Money comes up constantly in the political process. It has been called the “Mothers Milk” of politics. Second only to money is the all important political endorsement. The candidate is much less concerned with public acceptance at this point than what other politicians are willing to associate with them in public. While money begets debt, endorsements beget favors. If you get a political endorsement it suggests that you were either owed a favor or that you will owe someone a favor in the future.

Finally, after the money and the favors have been sorted out the “message” is crafted. This is crafted towards the demographic. It is often much less about what is in the politician’s heart than what is in the focus group’s results. Where there isn’t enough money to conduct focus groups the message becomes, “Elect (insert name here) for a better tomorrow.” Generic, non-committal, mom, home, and apple pie.

Ask any politician about this conventional wisdom and they will vociferously deny it. They will tell you that they are doing it for you, the people, for the love of freedom, or because it is their solemn responsibility. Like the bishops of ancient England, they tell you that to inherit heaven people must relinquish all wealth and that they, and only because God had asked them to, would accept it. With this sacrifice on their part you can be indebted to them, but they do not wish your thanks, it is their duty.

But now we see the unconventional wisdom. The wisdom that defeated Arlen Specter, selected Kesha Rogers and Alvin Greene and Sharon Angle and Nikki Haley is real. It isn’t the endorsements and it isn’t the money, and in Mr. Greene’s case it surely wasn’t the message. I doubt that it was the Palin effect, the Dems that won had no help from her. It probably isn’t the incumbent backlash. It’s that unconventional wisdom.

What is unconventional wisdom? It is the wisdom of a mother to say no when she wants to say yes. It is the wisdom of a father who is working on the road away from his family to earn the money to give them a better life. It the wisdom we all felt when we knew it was wrong to reward companies that got it wrong and take from people who lived within their means to pay for the mistakes of people who did not.

Unconventional wisdom doesn’t get polled. The people that possess it don’t show up on the radar. It doesn’t get reported because the press doesn’t know how. It doesn’t follow the leader because it has decided to lead the followers. It is the wisdom that will not sell a vote for money or promises or fame, but that will spend a vote for a belief, an ideal, or a child’s future.

Unconventional wisdom exists in abundance in the kitchens and corner cafes and main streets of this country. It is sorely lacking in Washington, Wall Street, boardrooms, and corner offices. It may lay dormant for years then surface in the winds of hope and change but it is not fooled into believing that change is always good or hope is always fulfilled. Like the emperor with no close the pretenders are obvious and will be expunged.

Even the strongest oak tree wavers in the wind and winds of the hearts of the nation are blowing. If you listen you can hear the rising and falling breath of those that stand for freedom and for liberty. It’s you and it’s me. It is alive and it is strong. If you sense less fervor it is because the panic has passed; we know we can win. The calm of conviction has settled in. It is not dissention you hear in the ranks; it is the reasoned debate necessary to forge the plans for the future. If you sense a composure and confidence that will not be bridled it is just the thing that some have not yet seen the unconventional wisdom of the American Dream.


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Allen Wilson
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