2017 is set to be a tumultous year. I suspect much of the public discourse on CNN or Facebook, and among family and friends who differ on politics, will follow a pattern which will be generally as inflammatory as it will be unproductive:
– Trump and his administration will do something that goes against the perceived norms of what presidents or administrations normally do.
– Liberals will be in up in arms about how Trump is a bigot, a sexist, a conman and aims to be a dictator like Putin and who is eroding the principles of democracy.
– Trump and his supporters will use the clamor from the liberals, and the protests, to say they are the victims of “political correctness” run amok, and Trump will wear any provocative act as a badge of honor, and feel more entitled to act as he wants. And his supporters will become focused on culture war wins over liberals instead of holding Trump up for scrutiny.
– The more the conversation gets stuck between the moral indignation of Trump critics and the defensive self-righteousness of Trump and his supporters, the more the DEEPER intellectual and conceptual issues will recede into the background. That is, the more the discussion becomes about Trump in particular, the more the broader forces of our country and world, of which Trump is a symptom and not the main cause, will be lost sight of.
– It will take several months, or years, before this cycle runs its course, which will spike at moments of terror attacks, blacks being killed by police, supreme court appointments and environmental crises.
– When the cycle starts to end, and or at least when enough people get tired of it, and people realize they need to work together to meet some eminent catostrophe, they will still be in the dark about what happened and how to work together. People will then think, “We should have been working all along to build a new foundation and understand the broader issues at play instead of getting focused on the personality and will of one person or even one administration.”
I am sure many people, wary of this coming cycle, are already starting to try to understand the bigger picture and work together to build community across a broad spectrum of political and social views.
I hope to contribute to this cause, as best as I am able, and to use this blog to do so. I won’t be focusing on each new controversy and political and culture battle as it will be happening. No doubt many places will have all that covered. My aim is to not think directly about Trump, but about the broader social, intellectual and cultures forces at play. To see even the most urgent, immediate political and social situation from a more broader perspective, as best as I am able to find and hold on to such a perspective.