Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My thoughts on Gingrich response to Open Marriage Debate question

Newt Gingrich had a brilliant political moment in his exchange with John King during the recent South Carolina Republican debate. It may have been the turning point for Newt's come from behind dramatic win in the primary.

The audience gave him a standing ovation. John King offered little defense of his question as should be expected of a good moderator, whose job it is to allow the debaters to freely interact with the questions. Later they exchanged once again after the debate, and Gingrich was far less convincing than his moment during the debate.

His daughter is coming out and defending him, but the open marriage question is not answered even during these interviews, and of course in such a "he said, she said" private issue, how could we ever expect a deciding result?

When I first saw the debate response by Gingrich, I immediately felt that this was Gingrich at his fiery best. He may be the clearest communicator, and perhaps the most intelligent and visionary politician among anyone running for president in either party right now. But, my second (and almost immediate) sense about his response to the open marriage accusation by his second wife has stuck with me longer, and seems to be proving itself out. The exchange did not leave me with a good feeling, and these are the reasons why:

1) The response by Gingrich seemed philosophically dishonest. Even if it is a genuine response to how he feels about the question (which might not have been true if the question was asked of someone else, or of a Democrat) it does not accurately portray the general feelings of the Republican core. From a basic  philosophical consideration of leadership in the Republican party, faithfulness matters, and manifests itself in sexual issues. Something so far outside the societal norms of marriage and sexuality as Open Marriage or polyamory are not things most Republicans would consider acceptable in a leader.

2) The debate point was sure to bring forward discussion in the public arena about Open Marriage and polyamory. Giving it a place in the discussion of everyday news affairs and offering its advocates a grand stage to share their views on the benefits of the lifestyle. Is this something a leader of the Republican Party wants to be known for - being a culture changer for radical liberal sexuality? Somehow I think not, but indeed, almost immediately articles and discussions popped up around the world. The questions on the validity and potential benefits of open marriage are still going, and its proponents have the grandest stage they have perhaps ever had.

I do not see Newt's brilliant political maneuver in the debate as a high point for the Republican Party, and I do not see it as a high point for American culture either. That's my thoughts on Newt's response. What are yours?

Friday, January 06, 2012

Your life is a poem

I have read poetry, beautiful prose and deep philosophy birthed out of adventurous lives. I have also read poetry, beautiful prose and deep philosophy birthed out of what would appear to some to be mundane existence.

So I find myself considering the fact that all life is poetry - all life is beautiful prose - and all life is deep philosophy. We may not see it in every day, and every experience, but I assume it must be there.

What then makes our lives so mundane if all life is poetry? Our perspective I suppose. One of our great needs, then, is to be the poet - to be the mystery writer - to be the philosopher who finds the art in life.