I picked up “The Revolution Will NOT Be Televised” last night, and haven’t been able to put it down (except to laugh at several and various places aloong those first 40 pages I’ve read so far…the guy is funny too). I can sasy with complete confidence that the book is a gem after getting only 20% of the way through it (I had to go to sleep after I started it, to get up and go to work, but I made it a point to stop at the coffeeshop today on the way home and get a Vanilla Latte and sit down with it before I came home for dinner).
Trippi resonates with me, and we seem to have a lot in common (Born in 1956, like Baseball, media, politics, and the Internet). His insights seem to be plentiful as well. His stories of grassroots campaigns are captivating. And , did I say he’s hilarious? Yeah, I think I did.
There will be lots of blogging material here over the next few days. Still makes me mad how as soon as Dean became the front runner and the media turned full gaze on him, they also did a number on him. It waan’t just a bunch of geeks who thought it was cool that they used the Internet and Weblogs, but a fired up constituency who found a no-bull campaign where it was the people and the conversation that mattered. Trippi’s opening chapter included a touching moment when Dean told him that he never expected it to get “that far” (December 2003). Tripp observed then and now that it happened just becuase it wasn’t about Dean, but about the people. Sounds sappy into today’s ullta-cynical political environment (and one is cynical for good reason, mind you…..and herein lies the point). The point being, that campaigns like Dean’s awakened an awful lot of hope in the political process. Other campaigns woudl do well to learn from what brought them out of “nowhere” (the answer is: The People —- sadly, the People are indeed “nowhere” in most campaigns, amidst all the lipservice to “the People”, they are , in most cases, listened to only in the context of “representative samples” and polls. It is a dumb-down game with the intent of finding that “magical middleground” that contributes to the divorce of politicians from thew body politic.
Of course, knowing me, you know where I;m headed with this don’t you? Yep, it’s excatly the kind of thing that kills Churches; this “not listening to people” thing; this “not letting the conversation grow”; it’s the great omission of the stories of people’s lives. And like it makes JOe Trippi sick to see what politics has become (and it does me , too) it makes me sick that Churches seek audience rather than be attentive to the mission it was given; to be a “community of God’s people” and dedicated to the building of the Body of Christ.