November 2016 Inter-Belief Conversation Café
Trump v. Hillary: The Aftermath!
Monday, November 21, 2016
7 – 9 p.m.
Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul
1671 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 (View Map)
As this is written the 2016 election is a future event. Polls point in one direction. But polls had Alf Landon beating Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 and Thomas Dewey defeating Harry Truman in 1948. And as one candidate loves to tell us, the Brexit vote was a huge surprise. But whether Hillary or The Donald, is this the America we want? Do those who felt the Bern, or supported one of the 16 GOP “losers,” have cause to celebrate? You know the future now. What will our values, faith traditions, or philosophies bring to the aftermath of election for our country and communities?
Ronald Reagan spoke of Morning in America. John F. Kennedy proclaimed a New Frontier. Lyndon Johnson saw a Great Society. Richard Nixon assured us that he was not a crook. Do we necessarily have even that last promise from the 2016 winner? If we choose the lesser of two evils, don’t we still have an evil result? Has the political process sunk so low that only the low seek office? Have the politics of mutual destruction left scorched earth and the smell of sulphur in the air? Will Trumpism leave America coarsened in its dialogue? Will Clintonism leave America searching for an honest (wo)man?
Can we afford another presidential vision of new spending programs and either higher taxes or higher debt? Are tax cuts for the rich going to help the remaining 99% of us? Will Obamacare turn belly-up and sink into a death spiral of rocketing premiums, or will we return to the days of insuring just our healthy and letting our sick just die? If we abandon free trade, will we be awash in new jobs and cash — or drained of new customers and income? If we build a wall, will we be the ones trapped inside it? If seven jobs are lost to automation and robots for one arguably lost to trade deals and illegal immigrants, will we continue flailing about while blue collar America vanishes? If we have solar/wind electricity and driverless cars, what will become of our miners, truck drivers, cabbies, and even Uber and Lyft stockholders? If we deny climate change, will we even be around to see its final impact?
If Hillary is President, what becomes of the millions of Trump supporters desperate to fix a rigged political system? If Trump is President, what becomes of the millions of Hillary and Bernie supporters desperate to expand the people’s revolution for social, economic, and environmental justice? Will America come together, or pull further apart?
America has survived every President it has elected. If Trump and his voters refuse to accept the certified vote as legitimate (unless they win), will our Republic (or Democracy) actually end? Will it be the death knell of the era of political compromise? If Congress belongs to a no-longer “loyal” opposition, how much will get done? Having moth-balled SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland, will an opposition Senate continue gutting the Supreme Court by black-balling all new nominees? How many of the glittering promises of new Presidents are kept? Are we better off if they aren’t? Will the future be more of the past?
Perhaps everyone now is offended. But can we learn something from this most unpleasant of elections? No state will likely secede. Escapes to Canada will likely be minimal. But won’t our faith traditions and philosophies internally provide us an out? Will we engage in the self-reflection needed to create a truly united country that cares both for its haves and its have-nots, leaving no one behind? Or maybe not?
On Monday, November 21, from 7-9 PM at Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul, 1671 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, Inter-belief Conversation Café will contemplate the election just past. Agreements of curiosity, open-mindedness, acceptance, discovery, sincerity, brevity, and confidentiality should make our reasoning dialogue unlike the recent presidential debates! Possibly we will find the way to fix a broken system. If not, we will have treats!