Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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Fall 2018

A Crucial Midterm Pivot

by Quincy Howard, OP

One thing Americans agree on:  our country has veered drastically off-course.  Failures of national systems have led to frustration, bewilderment, and distrust among the commonwealth.  Beyond that we are a deeply divided country: from cynical resignation to railing against perceived wrongs, we are turning on one another.  Madeline Albright describes the experiment of democracy is paradoxical: as equally characterized by fragility and resilience. These challenging times have exposed the delicate nature of our body politic and will test our nation’s spirit of resilience, and it’s terrifying.

The political vitriol among Americans, the scapegoating by elected leaders, the echo-chambers of social media, the claimed victimhood by the most privileged, the plausible deniability of truth … all dynamics that have changed the playing field of civic participation. It can feel impossible to gain our bearings or even to discern reality from hype.  As a nation, we are moving through stages of fear and anxiety that threaten the very institutions on which we’re founded.  Watching the evening news is a litany of stories of people acting-out — from random shootings to tell-all exposes to the President’s tweets — making it feel like we are nearing a panicky crescendo. (Download the PDF version of this RTA to continue reading)

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