“There is nothing wrong with America,” Rep. Adam Schiff said in a recent Commonwealth Club address, “that cannot be cured with what is right in America.” He was quoting former president Bill Clinton, surely a line worth quoting. Schiff’s overall message was so upbeat, at this particularly downbeat time in U.S. history, that this writer/listener came away hopeful.
Schiff doesn’t want us to be dismayed and overwhelmed. Worried about pollution? Climate change? Immigration? Reproductive justice? Gun control? Environmental destruction? Dreamers? Pick one, he advises. You can make a difference; pick one.
This seems such a welcome diversion from the ongoing national malaise that this space today is dedicated to additional pearls of wisdom and crumbs of food for thought from the same evening. All of these were gleaned from Commonwealth Club events and flashed on the screen while the sold-out audience waited for Schiff and his conversation partner, former Rep. Ellen Tauscher. Enjoy.
“Hope is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word” – Sen. Cory Booker
“Sometimes I wonder if our grace is taken for granted” – Van Jones
“Good and evil exist in all races and all types of people no matter where they come from” – Kareem Abdul Jabbar
“The Republican party is my vehicle, not my master – I have the right to define the Republican party too” – Governor John Kasich
“Fame is a completely separate category from being an actor” – Frances McDormand
“The question is not big government or small government; the question is who government is for” – Robert Reich
“Humans crack under pressure; machines do not. But humans can dream; machines cannot.” – Garry Kasparov
We try to avoid being overly political in this space. But we hope you enjoy pondering these gems – which happen to begin with a comment from an American politician and end with an astute observation from a Russian chess player.