Shortly after the presidential election we spent a week looking at how Barack Obama exemplifies spirituality. Today we continue that discussion by analyzing how he is choosing his cabinet.
Accept those who disagree with you
An important aspect of spirituality is to accept those who disagree with you. For many years our presidential politics have been characterized by the demonization of our opponents. The idea was that if you did not agree with the people in power you were ridiculed, personally attacked, and marginalized.
A spiritual person recognizes that there are many valid viewpoints on most matters. Just because we disagree does not mean that we cannot work together. A spiritual person validates those who disagree with them by listening to and acknowledging the validity of opposing perspectives.
This does not meant that you have to act on the opposing viewpoints. We validate the viewpoint by considering it. We then choose our course of action and explain it as best we can to those who gave their input regarding why we did not follow their suggestions.
Most reasonable people realize that their suggestions will not always be followed. By seriously considering those suggestions we are saying that we value their input and want to continue to hear opposing viewpoints in the future.
He has chosen former opponents
Barack Obama has chosen several former opponents from the presidential primary races. Hillary Clinton was his most formidable opponent from that series of elections. By choosing her as his Secretary of State he saying that the previous disagreements are over. Going forward they will work together in the unified spirit that Barack Obama wants to be the new spirit of our country.
Another way that Barack Obama is accepting his opponents is by keeping Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. There has been too much partisan fighting between Republicans and Democrats. Most of the American people want to find a way to get past this destructive struggle.
By keeping the Republican Gates on as Secretary, Barack Obama is reaching out his hand to Republican partisans. He is saying that he does not think that everything that is Republican is bad. This will show that he is not demonizing his opponents like so many other politicians have done in recent years.
The only problem with this strategy is that Barack Obama can open the door, but his opponents have to walk through it. He can stop demonizing his opponents, but he cannot make his opponents stop demonizing him. All he can do is not respond in kind, which is what he has done so far. Let’s hope the he has the self control to continue to do so.
That is all for today.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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