The best paragraph I’ve read today comes from the introduction of Paul Loeb’s Soul of a Citizen.

The dream of sanctuary is an illusion. It erodes our souls by eroding our sense of larger connection, whether to our fellow human beings or to that force that many of us call God. The walls we’re building around ourselves, around those closest to us, and ultimately around our hearts may provide a temporary feeling of security. But they can’t prevent the world from affecting us. Quite the opposite. The more we construct such barriers, the more private life, for most of us, will grow steadily more insecure. (pg. 7)

Reading over many posts I’ve written over the past eleven months, I’m aware that I come across as partisan, especially for someone with the phrase “common good” in the title of his blog. But this is why I think Loeb’s writing here offers something. Yes, I’m not ignorant — my dislike of the current Republican Party can probably be traced to a conditioned response to entertain negative feelings at the mention of the words thanks to our hyper-partisan political environment and my attachment with the Democratic Party. But I really do believe that a good chunk of my disapproval of the GOP is rooted in their construction of unnecessary barriers to protect themselves and their ideas.

For instance, the climate crisis is flat out denied by the GOP, despite scientific data that proves otherwise (there’s rarely valid data backing up the GOP’s case on this issue). On economics, the GOP would rather soak the wealthy in tax cuts and have the middle- and lower-classes bear the load. Only when taxes are raised on the wealthy do Republicans cry “socialism,” yet many people on the lower end of the economic spectrum have paid the price for this, thanks to a crumbling social safety net and lost jobs (replacement jobs never trickled down).

Yes, I’m a Democrat, but it’s because I think the principles of the Democratic Party offer us more than the Republican Party’s. And it’s also because I believe Democratic stances and values reinforce more of the “common good” approach to governing than the GOP’s.