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April 2017

Future Of Judaism, Inter-Faith, Jewish Ethos

Resisting the New Normal

Before Election Day, I had myself convinced that humanity was making slow (if sometimes halting) progress in the direction of liberal democracy, and that the light of reason would ultimately prevail. Yes, laughably, I even confess to imagining that the dark horrors of the 20th century were receding on the far horizon, and that despite the ravages of testosteronic governance around the world, our shared environmental crisis would shortly take center stage and push aside our power-driven dramas.

As the growling Debaser-in-Chief would say: Wrong!

 Okay, I’m waking up now, and finding that every spiritual tool is requisite. On the one hand I have faith that larger forces of Life and Good are at play here. But attention to the news these past three months has forced a rapid recalibration. Anyone who has Holocaust or other cataclysmic oppression in their lineage knows of what I speak.

The slow slippage of democratic norms that I have taken for granted all my life—like basic civility, respect for human dignity, factual evidence, rule of law—is actually a quite rapid mudslide into a “new normal” that too many in Washington are eating like cake. The changes are quite overwhelming. But being overwhelmed works against us.

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