The other side of disruption
Mark today, July 11th 2017 as the end of the Trump Presidency. You might have voted for him like one of my favorite middle school counselors (or several relatives for that matter) or you might fiercely oppose every fiber of his being — but regardless of what you thought or think of him, his 15 minutes are up.
And he is not alone. Mark his end — no matter how slow — right along with other disruptions.
In Mr. Trump’s case, his disruption will include making visible the realities of America. Our racism and misogyny. Our elitism. Our greed. Our short attention spans. Our appetite for Hunger Games politics. Our confusion about our own history and role in the world. The media’s joy at ratings. Our utter lack of faith in both political parties and public institutions. Our ability to lose track of our own humanity and each other’s. And whether there can or should be an “our”.
Is there a story for us on the other side of the age of disruption?
Can any faith be returned to public institutions? Is there a way to invite a new sense of public?
It seems to me the starting places are mirrors, bars, water coolers, schools, ceremonies, barbershops and yes — even Twitter and Facebook. Any place where we might begin to be in conversation about where we go from here and who “we” can include.
I hope we are big enough to wrestle with the history of America. The ugliness of colonialism, genocide, and slavery. The beauty of first, old, and new immigrant dreams. The contradictions of war, sacrifice, duty, honor, democracy, and citizenship. The possibility that there is a future for each and everyone of us that is better than any mythological or romanticized past.
Is it possible that the hot new thing to do is imagine our future as human beings in a vibrant healthy world where we work together to make things work?
We’ve got plenty of dystopian fiction, movies, and daily news to mark a predictable path.
But, just maybe, there is something on the other side of disruption.
President Trump’s 15 minutes are up. Now we are on the clock.