Wednesday, January 25, 2017

You can run but you can't hide


Dorothy and I will be traveling for the next five weeks.  We are in Tucson this week and will head to Mexico (Merida and Guanajuato) for most of the month of February. We'll be back home March 1. Mexico should prove especially interesting this year.

I've had a couple of people (well one actually) ask whether I'd be doing blog posts during this trip like I did last year. Initially I didn't think I would.  In retrospect I was disappointed in last year's posts  Too much superficial travelogue and not enough reflection/analysis.  I think I was trying to make the posts more popularly appealing and in the process made them boring. At least to me anyway (and to one callous golfing buddy who had the nerve to tell me how uninspiring he found them.) 
This year I'm going to try to dig a little deeper into my thoughts and feelings.  I want to put more heart and soul into the writing and perhaps take more risks.  Watch out!
(I'm sending  this first entry out as an email.  Future ones can be found at

I've been looking forward to this trip as an opportunity to escape from the dark drumbeat that's been throbbing in my head since November 8.  It's becoming crystal clear to me that there's no way to run away from the Trump shit storm. Each day's news seems to up the ante. No way I can turn my back this time. And it seems a lot of other people are reaching the same conclusion.
The tremendously successful worldwide Women's March last Saturday was the first time I've felt hopeful since the election.

The big question now is what next? What are the most effective individual and group actions we can take to "protect and resist?"  What should be the short and long range plan?  Will the leadership continue to come from disparate issue focused groups or will a unifying umbrella organization be possible? What role will the Democratic Party play? What do we need to learn from the election? What needs to change in the progressive/liberal strategy?

I found the following two articles interesting and challenging.  Although I strongly disagree with some of the points made I think they raise some questions that can't be ignored if we are going to mount a successful alternative vision for our country. They shook up several of my assumptions and pushed me to reexamine priorities. Maybe they'll get you stirred up too.

(Reading some of the comments to the Brooks piece has been helpful. I will paste one of these below the article links.)

I will make an effort to make regular posts the my blog during the next five weeks.  I hope you will join me on this journey.

In faith,

The following is one of comments made in response to the David Brooks article cited above.

Kathy (primary care physician)

David, I hope that your column is just an attempt to move us on. While you watched the marches on TV- the signs and slogans, the hats, the speakers, the chants - you did not hear the conversations in the cars and the buses and rest stops on the way. Those conversations were about how did we come to this (even quoting some of your columns), how to reach those who are left out or feel disenfranchised, and what our next steps will be.
I do not think that the march will have changed anyone's mind about Trump, or their politics and may even deepen the chasm for some (hopefully only temporarily). But I do feel that it was successful as a call to arms and an energizing, uplifting challenge from the millions who participated, a way to state that those of us who value "pluralism, dynamism, racial and gender equality and global engagement" are not alone and that America still has the values that made my parents immigrate here.
We were compelled to march-traveling miles, sleeping on floors- these are not people who just want to feel good for a day. There will be more to come. There will be reaching out, there will be networking, there will be reflection and conversations, there will be the building of new and stronger networks in many communities that focus on inclusion and support those values.
A pretty good start.