• 01 Nov 2008

    And so my flag and I have arrived.


    We spent this day at the National Mall surrounded by its memorials, monuments, and the sanctums to our three branches of government, each standing as testament to our greatest hopes and aspirations.  It was one of the most extraordinary days of my life and, concurrently, touched by the sadness that marks the end of a journey.  Worse, it meant attempting to comment on what it all meant to me.  I am a little scared.

    Here goes,

    Last March I read an article in the Village Voice written by David Mamet.  Not only am I a fan of his plays, but I also admire him as a highly ordered thinker.  You can imagine my consternation when I read the title ‘Why I am no longer a brain dead liberal’

    Mr. Mamet posits many things, but chief among them are,

    1. That our constitution in its very construct recognizes that man in inherently evil
    2. That corporations and the military complex can and do operate for the public good, and
    3. That larger government is always bad

    And with these revelations, Mr. Mamet rejects his former liberalism.

    Further, he cites the work of Thomas Sowell who, in his book  A Conflict of Visions, highlights two competing worldviews.  The first, the ‘constrained vision’ sees humans as flawed or fallen, and that they, operating within that ‘constraint’, will work to make the best of it.  The second, the  ’unconstrained vision’ puts no limits on the abilities of humans to improve. 

    Both of these incredible thinkers put forth the conservative movement as representative of the “constrained vision” and progressives as “unconstrained” (and, in their view, unrealistic). 

    But when I attempt to square my experiences of this last month with the above constructs, certain issues arise.  As I talked with people it slowly emerges that they are either acting in response to a perceived threat, or from the desire for things to be different.  But both occur on each end of the political spectrum. 

    So it seems that it may be less about an artificially defined ‘nature’ than it is about what motivates and informs our actions.  What was most significant for me was that there seems to be a direct correlation between the strength of the perceived threats and a willingness to accept, without question, party doctrine.  Even when that doctrine is on opposition to their self-interests.

    So what does it all mean?  At the risk of exposing myself for the unrepentant liberal that I am, this experience has shown me that, more than ever before, people are ready to move past the disproportionate fears that have enabled the policies of the last eight years (I submit the electorate’s response to the 2008 campaign tactics as a proof point). And yes, that the whole of the human condition can be better. 

    And so, in closing, I offer my final interview with thanks and deep appreciation.

    Julie McDonald

    Oh, and for my friends in California, please vote NO on Prop 8!  With love from the road, Julie

    Posted by jm-admin @ 9:48 pm

14 Responses

  • Bob McFriend Says:

    Best interview yet. This adventure shows that you live your life in an unconstrained way!

  • John the libertarian Says:

    Hey Julie,

    My hats off to you. What an adventure! Your children and (in time) your ancestors will speak of this journey and the lady with the plan. I missed our traditional pre-election lunch but I must admit this has been another and perhaps richer way to do it (lower calorie for me too!).

    See you soon.

  • Linda Says:

    Thank you Julie!

  • DianneMcSister Says:

    Congratulations Julie!!
    You went, you saw, you conquered!! You are amazing and I am so proud to share your DNA!!
    love you so much!
    Bring home that flag and we will frame it with love,

  • Roderick Says:

    Ku’u Kumu Mai’Kai Julie,

    Thank you for making the world just a little bit safer.

  • Andi Says:

    Way to go Julie! You rock! What an adventure, I was with you every vicarious step of the way - woo-hoo!

  • Sharon Says:


    I knew you would do it! Hurray!!

    Thank you for your inspiring thoughts. In the end, it all seems to be about acknowledging our fears and going on to act out of a place of love and hope in spite of them. As you have done so beautifully.

    Thank you, dear heart! Can’t wait to see you!

    tons of love,


  • Bob McDad Says:

    Julie, I thought my last entry was, well, my last entry! Now I find myself compelled to note that, despite your fears/trepidation your “final interview” may well have been your best. Having listened to hundreds of voicemails from you over the years, I’ll go on record that this is undoubtedly the most concise, eloquent, heartfelt and incisive taped message you have ever left. My heartfelt congratulations!!! Now come home . . .

  • Heather LeRoy Says:


    Very interesting and thoughtful close to this journey. It certainly makes one think!

    I look forward to seeing you home again!


  • Carol Says:

    OMG you made it!!!!!!!
    Now, I’ve been afraid to ask this…. how are you getting home?

  • Tifa Says:

    yeah!!!you made it!!congratulations!!
    it’s about time to come home for the election!! :)
    I look forward to seeing you in the office next week!

  • Jessica Says:

    Congratulations Julie! What a wonderful collection of stories (and one VOTE flag)!

    I only hope that on the return home you will not be assigned a middle seat.

    Goodbye to your Trusty McScooter… What a ride!

  • Terry Says:

    Thank you Julie and Welcome Home!

  • Michele LeFevre Davis Says:

    Jules, You are amazing. Life is truly full of adventures.
    We are such multi talented creatures and you are certainly a testament to that. From your old but not out college sweetmate, Michele