12.12.16 | Looming Trump Era

It’s been almost a month now. Our upcoming Member Monday (12/12) discussion will address the looming Trump era. What does it mean?

There are a number of ways to address the topic. The analysis of David Brooks in the NYT OpEd “The Future of the American Center”  (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/opinion/the-future-of-the-american-center.html) speculates on possible political realignments in the aftermath of a guy who enters the room and starts to throw all the furniture around. Nothing can be taken for granted in this environment e.g. deference to our traditional two-party system; respect for the old caucuses; and, for that matter, regard for the separation of powers. 

Brooks does envision a possible bright side where caucuses essentially become free agents, ready to realign in the vast space between the alt-right and alt-left to form an ideological “New Center.” His message is one of hope with interest-centric caucuses replacing traditional party-centric politics. On the other hand, one might speculate, caucuses could just as easily goose-step their way to an autocratic tyranny. 

There is, in addition, a more meditative, less technical reckoning of where we find ourselves -- a talk recently delivered in Boulder by David Loy titled “The Bodhisattva Path in the Trump Era.” (Attached as Pdf, below). The transcript speaks to a wide variety of constituents, from closet Trump supporter to those who consider him to be the devil incarnate. 

One message shared by the two pieces -- let that election outcome serve as our wake-up call. The time for complacency is over. The issues we face are beyond the mere expedient of a simple political choice. Maybe that's the silver lining: the catalyst of the election puts the challenges directly in our face.

Let's take that point as the segue to the theme for the next-following Member Monday (12/19) and consider what we might do individually and collectively as we accept the responsibility for our future. 

Steve SmithComment