It has been a while, as was recently pointed out to me. The view from “there” was helpful. Returning to the US at the end of August was less so, as the economy seemed even more stagnant than when I left in July and pretty much on a par with that of Ireland. Observing the country’s electorate sliding to the right was not surprising but it is worrisome. Replacing the architects of our malaise with more of the same hardly seems like a way to secure a steady recovery, much less a lasting one. But the American political memory is notoriously brief. Why does it feel downright nostalgic to remember the Clinton administration, which left office with a big surplus in the kitty and no ruinous wars to sap the treasury?
The weather has been terrific here in the Midwest, however, considering the hurricanes and droughts people have been experiencing elsewhere in the country.
And if anyone out there is looking for a terrific film, search out any theater showing WAITING FOR SUPERMAN and rush to see it. Noticing that the local Libertarian candidate wants to cut education funding is a wake-up call about priorities – as is the film.
A lot of my university students have indicated that they are not going to vote in the November election – apathy is less an issue than disillusionment. The spate of attack ads on television has clearly fed into their cynicism about politics and the political process. But copping out is not a solution. It’s the problem.