2020 ranks with 1968 as one of the most unsettling years in American politics. The similarities between the two years are striking, but it is difficult to find shared catalysts explaining what caused them to be so filled with dysfunction. However, a common denominator might be found further back, in 1954.
I just finished reading Barack Obama’s book, “A Promised Land,” and it made me think that if Jesus Christ descended upon the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell would immediately say that he would make him a one-term savior. While Barack Obama may not be a savior, in many ways, he is about as good as it can get for a U.S. president. His commitment to the common good, to integrity and ethics, to protecting individual liberties are remarkable in an era of cynicism and alternate realities.
Joe Biden can help himself, the party, and the American people by taking a radical approach to filling certain cabinet positions. Key to this will be filling certain positions with “real people;” the kind of individuals with whom alienated poor white voters, and many others, can easily relate.
What frightens me is that while Democrats try to reach out to various voter groups, many of whom are combating systemic inequality that must be addressed, they are forgetting one with legitimate grievances of its own. I’m talking about the Trump base: white, blue-collar workers (or non-workers) who are struggling to make a living.
Civitas, a St. Louis-based educational non-profit, is working with seventeen interns this summer. They are researching (a) why certain individuals do not vote and what can be done to encourage them to do so, (b) how are system of voting is changing in light of COVID-19 and countervailing forces for change, and (c) current race relations issues in the United States and around the world.
But these protests have gone on far longer than most other occasions of citizens taking to the streets, and I’m fearing that there will be an equal and opposite reaction to the fortnight of demonstrable marches. When we’re talking about human behavior, as opposed to physics, the reaction does not have to be exactly equal and opposite. But it will be characterized by significant force and will run counter to the movement that spawned it.
Here’s a question for you: “Do introverts commit acts of violence? The only way to try to answer this question is to acknowledge that at least one premise of the statement is probably faulty. It is unlikely that there are individuals who are introverts 100% of the time. It’s more likely that we are all live on the Introvert / Extrovert continuum and depending on the situation we are in; we slide to different points on the scale.
It did not work well in Ferguson, MO in 2014; it certainly is not working well now in Minneapolis and a host of other cities. Are there other ways to deal with citizen concerns besides massive displays of armed power?
Joe Biden had another “foot-in-mouth” moment a few days ago when he agreed to a radio interview with a gentleman who goes by the modest name of “Charlamagne tha God.” He needs to be careful to whom he grants interviews and stop the bragging.
Here are some questions that were posed in the April 21 On-Line forum about “The 40% Solution: How to get those citizens who don’t