In The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, JEREMY LENT writes, “The right wing has not won on the issues, but by telling a grand story of America – a story that is false and based on a set of values that are driving civilization to a precipice. It’s been successful because there has been no coherent counter-narrative.” We look at that history and look ahead for a new story.
NEW Free Forum – ARLIE HOCHSCHILD Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger & Mourning on the American RightWritten on April 13th, 2018
ARLIE HOCHSCHILD asks why residents of the nation’s second poorest state vote for candidates who resist federal help? Why, when corporations devastate their lives and their land, do they most hate the government? After five years talking with folks in Southern Louisiana, she sensed that a particular “deep story” they share holds their political contradictions together. We’ll talk about that story and wrestle with the challenge: What story can we offer them of a future more inviting than the past?
Donald Trump proudly admitted at a rally that he had made stuff up in his meeting with Canadian PM Trudeau. CHARLES LEWIS titled his 2014 book 935 Lies because that was the number of untruths the Bush-Cheney administration used to justify the US invasion of Iraq. Trump has taken lying to a unimaginable level (at least 2000 lies in his first year), but the book lays out the conditions that made Trump’s election possible. Lewis is a former 60 Minutes producer and founder of two Pulitzer Prize-winning organizations, the Center for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
“We did not understand the country’s identity crisis…Consequently, we left in the hands of the opposition the hearts and minds of those we could have persuaded to support reform…Looking for an answer to their question of cultural identity, we gave them a political answer instead.” ALI NOORANI, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum, talks about successful responses to that challenge.
PETER SCHRAG, longtime editor of The Sacramento Bee, makes the case that “no party, no lobby, no organization has been as formidable an adversary to the Washington of Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell as California has. None has both the will and the heft that California brings to this fight. None has been as determined.” And he reminds us that California has come a long way since 1994 and Prop 187.