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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A lesson in humility

I rarely allow someone to put words in my mouth, but associated press reporter Paul Haven just put my thoughts on paper even better than I could have in his story today on international response to yesterday's election:

"From Paris to Pakistan, politicians, analysts and ordinary citizens said they hoped the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives would force President Bush to adopt a more conciliatory approach to global crises, and teach a president many see as a "cowboy" a lesson in humility."

I agree, and this is a big reason why I have gradually shifted from being a moderate Republican in 2000 to a progressive independent by 2004 (and beyond). Are we the strongest nation in the world? Yes. Does that mean that we can be the bully in the global schoolyard? No. Regardless of our strength, we need to work with other nations to build consensus about how to solve the issues we face and then go tackle them--rather than trying to tackle them on our own and then trying to convince the world that we know best.

That said, I sincerely don't want to spend the next several weeks arrogantly basking in the Republicans' losses last night. We all, including myself, could stand to have a little humility and to make an authentic attempt to try to face the problems that confront us and make this country a better place to live and to make it once again a respected presence on the world stage.