Our friend Nancy is an artist, who heads out from Los Angeles to the country each week for a sheep-herding lesson for her border collie, Jasper. This past weekend, she had him entered in a sheepdog trial--entry-level, as I understood, for the beginners--and was happy to report that he did well in his class. That means, of course, that she did well. Only one snag, she told us: at one point, just as the sheep were about to be herded into the pen, one of her ovine charges decided it was time to lie down and play possum. A moment's panic. All the rest of the flock were behaving according to plan, how to deal with this one recalcitrant beast? It could be a disaster, to have the dog go back to fetch the one and lose the rest of them.
"And then," said Nancy, "I kept hearing my teacher's voice saying, 'The many to the few. The many to the few...'" So that was the solution, to have Jasper bring the whole flock back to surround the one exceptionalist--who then stood up and went along meekly with the gang.
And as she told the story, I could not help but think how relevant it was to our political situation. With those hold-out independents lying there stubbornly in the grass, better for the all rest of us to go back there and work on them through a process of inclusion than to whistle and beckon them impatiently from afar, with the demand that they catch up with us.
Does that work? I thought it was a nice metaphor anyway. Or at least a very nice story.