Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Use the Oxygen Mask First

As a follow up to my previous post about non-hatred - about opposing Trump and Trumpism with everything we can, but not by being motivated by hatred and anger toward them - and in response to the many many people who are reacting to the election results with fear and a sense of helplessness, I would like to posit what I think is the very first thing we should do as we develop our strategies and commitments for the future.

And that very first thing, our very first response to Trump and the disastrous results of the elections is: work on your spirituality.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016


In the current version of the “stump sermon” that I deliver in congregations, I begin my delineating Kansas Interfaith Action's four mission areas (racism, poverty, violence, climate disruption) and conclude by proposing four corresponding values that can guide our work as we try to bring the voice of faith and conscience into public policy advocacy.

This last piece has gone through numerous iterations since I first gave the sermon on MLK Sunday of this year. (Shout out to Rainbow Mennonite Church in KCK.) For one of these values in particular I've had trouble finding the words that capture precisely the tone and meaning I'm trying to set.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Election Postmortem

Before I move on to What Comes Next, I want to spend a little time on a postmortem on the election. First of all, I want to own that I was completely wrong in my predictions about this election. My crystal ball was really cloudy; my "realpolitik" analysis did not accommodate what was clearly a paradigm-shifting election. There were others, particularly supporters of Bernie Sanders, that were more aware of what was really at stake than I was. I was tepid about Bernie because I thought Hillary was more electable, and I was convinced as recently as 2 or 3 weeks ago that she was going to beat Trump like an orange, Many of Bernie's supporters are now saying, See, we told you so, if you had nominated Sanders you wouldn't have President-elect Trump right now. I have my doubts, as I always did about Bernie. But it's a counterfactual anyway.

I'm pretty hesitant to blame the results on Hillary Clinton's failings as a candidate. Over time she became much better than I thought she was capable of. She wiped the floor with Trump in each of the debates. Certainly in my bubble there was a lot of enthusiasm among people who wanted to see that glass ceiling broken, and toward the end (after voting began) there was an outpouring of emotion (#pantsuitnation) that could be compared favorably to Obamamania.