It’s 2017 and President Obama is free to enjoy a well-deserved season of relaxation — being President of the United States has to be one of the most difficult jobs on earth!
I didn’t vote for President Trump in 2016 nor do I plan on casting my ballot for him in 2020, if he’s a candidate. So, I have some sympathy for those who were disappointed back in November, but little patience for much of the hysteria that has followed his inauguration.
I plan to move forward in 2017 in much the same way I planned to if Secretary Clinton had won the election and have done through past administrations. I’ll be blogging about how to live according to your convictions no matter which way the wind blows — whether the things that matter to you and I are in vogue or out of favor with the culture, the administration or the institutions.
I’ve followed culture and politics closely for the past 35 years or so and the election of 2016 was like nothing I’ve seen before. And, President Trump is like no other President I’ve known. In fact, when I see him in that role it makes me feel weird — that’s the best way I can describe it — he just doesn’t fit. That’s not a slam on President Trump and, honestly, I’m not sure he even sees himself as Presidential — I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care what I think. A President Clinton would have been just as strange, but for different reasons and in a different way — that’s a moot point, though.
I’ve observed major changes in the way people think and act across our culture over the past three decades. We are living in a post-fact era in which people identify more closely with either left or right. The various factions or tribes out there are coalescing and being absorbed into those two teams — right and left. The liberal and conservative lines have been blurred, while the terms capitalist, socialist and progressive seem to be losing their traditional meanings. Although Americans have always been a divided people, the distance across that left/right divide may be greater than we have seen since the 1960s.
What has become very apparent to me over the past year is how much alike people on the left and right actually live out their lives. I have discerned very little difference in how my family and friends approach work, play, family life, education, and recreation, whether they identify as liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, capitalist, socialist…
So, I will post on issues that are important to many people and suggest ways forward that just about anyone can do, whether they live on the left or right of the political spectrum. The emphasis will be on doing over informing or advocacy or awareness raising. I think the country is suffering from advocacy fatigue and besides — everyone knows what the issues are. So many of the concerns that divide people have been discussed, dissected and deconstructed already — if we don’t know enough to move us to action by now, then we probably weren’t really that concerned in the first place — we just want to make it clear that we’re not one of them! So, let’s look at how to take actions that address the concerns we all have. We’ll start with an important environmental problem right here in California.