Reflections and Comments On Unsteady Times by Mitch Santell
Good evening followers and readers. Thank you so much for following my blog or at least checking in with me from time to time to get a sense of my observations. In 2007 I could not live in fear any more and I moved in New Zealand. The challenges I experienced there have now hit America and I wonder what kind of world and what kind of America my Grandchildren will live in once I am dead, buried and gone.
There seems to be a sincere lake of community. From what I observe on a daily basis I see more and more people who are either struggling, gave up or don’t know where to turn.
There has never been a time outside of The Civil War and The American Revolution that I have observed the United States at such a divided fork in the road.
Here are some thoughts that one writer put into an opinion piece. I related a lot to what was written. First, I am an American and Second, I feel sense and observe the constant chatter of so many that are extreme on both sides of the political spectrum.
Check this out and see if you are like mined with this:
What should we do during the next two years of divided government? We could spend them as we’ve spent the last two: React to every Trump outrage. Keep Trump’s narcissistic provocations at center stage. Express daily contempt from within the safety of our political silos.
This seems to be the business model for cable news and online media. There’s a big, reliable audience of people who will tune in to feel appalled by and superior to President Donald Trump, and who are addicted to their daily rituals of moral onanism.
On the other hand, we could put the Trump soap opera off to the side and pay attention to actual Americans and actual solutions. We could acknowledge that we are an evenly divided country. We could build the bipartisan governing coalitions and agendas suited to that reality.
Fortunately, many people are opting for plan B. For example, the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution gathers stakeholders across the political spectrum and gets them working together on common visions — union bosses with Walmart executives, teacher union leaders with charter school heads.
Washington think tanks are undergoing a fundamental evolution. A lot of them, like the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution, were built to advise parties that no longer exist. They were built for a style of public debate — based on social science evidence and congressional hearings that are more than just show trials — that no longer exists. Many people at these places have discovered that they have more in common with one another than they do with the extremists on their own sides.
So suddenly there is a flurry of working together across ideological lines. Next week, for example, the group Opportunity America, with Brookings and AEI, will release a bipartisan agenda called “Work, Skills, Community: Restoring Opportunity for the Working Class.”
Written by a wide array of scholars, the report starts with the truth that the working class has been mostly ignored by the rest of society. Government has welfare programs to serve the poor and they have programs like 529 savings accounts to subsidize the rich. But there’s very little for families making, say, $50,000 a year.
Businesses like Amazon will invest in rich places like New York and Northern Virginia, but they won’t invest much in working-class communities in Ohio or Kentucky. Universities, religious organizations and activist groups will recruit from the affluent suburbs and serve those in dire poverty, but they barely touch the working class.
What you get is a layer of society that has been denuded of institutions and social bonds. Working-class men have been dropping out of the labor force at alarming rates. A generation ago, working-class families were about as likely to be part of religious communities as affluent Americans, but now their participation rates have plummeted. A generation ago, working-class families were nearly as likely to be married as affluent people, but now only half the children in working-class families will be raised in adolescence by stably married parents. From the 1970s to the 2000s, the share of working-class people aged 25 to 60 who were involved in a neighborhood organization fell from 71 percent to 52 percent.
Read more here:
Now for a 58 second clip on what has been happening behind the scenes for hundreds of years.