Political Despair Is Not an Option with Paul Loeb


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Program Description

We must continue the journey in the face of burn-out and other political challenges. Our fates are tied together, and when elections don’t turn out the way we’d like, we have a common responsibility not to give up our fight for a better world. The challenge is to work even harder in difficult times. Loeb says, “What we have to say is part of the challenge, and this is the core message of Soul of a Citizen, you act even in difficult times, and sometimes because of your actions, times change. Jim Wallis of Sojourners uses the phrase, ‘Hope is believing in spite of the evidence and then watching the evidence change.’ And I would argue that it is only by this kind of leap of faith, and practical on-the-ground action, where we reach out to other people, that cultures ever change. This is the task we have now. It is just more difficult, and our progress is probably going to be slower than it would have been, had we been taking up this mantle right after Obama was elected.” Loeb encourages us with stories and anecdotes not to give up in despair, but to persist with ever more vigor. (Hosted by Michael Toms)

Paul Loeb is an Associate Scholar at Seattle’s Center for Ethical Leadership. He has given more than one thousand TV and radio interviews, and his writing has been cited in congressional debates and covered by the Associated Press, United Press International, and in publications in the U.S. and around the globe. He is the author of five books, including the completely revised and updated edition of Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times (St. Martin’s Griffin 2010). To learn more about the work of Paul Loeb go to

Topics Explored in this Dialogue:

  • How we must have a sense of common responsibility because our fates are tied together
  • How political redistricting can affect the outcome of elections
  • How we are going to have to reach out to people with whom we disagree
  • What is the “multiplication of courage” and how does it work
  • How political change has to come from us, everyday citizens
  • How does clean elections campaign funding work in several states
  • How grassroots efforts can and much change campaign advertising

Program Number: 3389              Host: Michael Toms              Interview Date: 11/8/2010


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