As this campaign season reels recklessly, leaving a wake of increasing intolerance, those holding differing opinions can find little common ground. Past seasons of “come, let us reason together” have disappeared; unreasoned assertions from the chronically ignorant now dominate the increasingly purchased airwaves. Little from any side appears balanced or fair. We craft dollar-driven hegemonies of self-satisfied ignorance, cultures of the titillated and thoughtless. Where we once enshrined the ideals of freedom, we now erect a golden calf of contempt atop a tower of babble. Call it the gospel according to the uninformed.
When creed gives way to screed, who speaks into our opinionated age with a staid voice of wisdom?
There are at least two important differences between a touring musician who skips a state to make a point and a service provider who doesn’t want to provide services on account of personal opposition to the larger thing being served.
Maybe it’s because I’m Japanese-American that I feel skeptical reading Western political philosophy. When were we ever born as free individuals into a state of nature, as Locke and Rousseau asserted? I’ve always believed that we’re born into families, with binding ties, benefits, and obligations.
The Bible affirms that relationships are not merely social constructs for us to make and break as we choose.
In a survey the Federal Reserve Board discovered that 47 percent of Americans would not be able to pay a $400 emergency bill. Either they’d have to sell something or borrow from a family member. This comes as no surprise to writer Neal Gabler, who knows what it’s like to juggle creditors, be down to his last $5, go to the mailbox and get more bills but no checks to pay for them, and borrow money from his adult daughters when he and his wife run out of heating fuel. It’s more embarrassing to admit “financial impotence” than sexual impotence, he says. Gabler decided to speak up about his shameful experience when he realized it is happening to millions of other Americans, and not just poor ones (Atlantic, May).