election trauma & the way of the world

I had a nice chat with my boss yesterday.  Then a delightful couple of hours with Mozart and my piano trio.

Came home. Treadmilled. Then made supper. Life is good.

This contrasts with the increasingly shrill election campaign. I have never connected easily to political parties, but I am experiencing a new kind of distancing and loss of interest in the political discussion.

I still think that governing and citizenship is important. But it’s obvious to me that the most important value to many politicians and their followers is winning at all costs. So if ad hominem, fear and racism works, that’s what is used.

And the misinformation bouncing around is mind boggling. Our public discussion right now is so ideological that speakers are either blind to their own twisting of the truth or are willfully speaking lies. Either way is pretty disheartening.

Anyway, I still plan to vote, even for governor. I will have to hold my nose and do it. But I will do it.

It’s not helping me to be re-listening to a book I have read by Ron Suskind called “The Way of the World.”

The Way Of The World Book Cover

This is actually a wonderful book which uses a retelling of factual history to make a point after  point about how sanity is missing in the world.  It tells about the lives of people you’ve never heard of: a young entrepreneur from Pakistan who is nabbed on his way to work in D.C.and ends up in an interrogation room in the basement (!) of the White House. It tells about a high school exchange student from Afghanistan who cannot quite overcome his own cultural bias even as he embraces US popular culture. It talks a good deal about politicians and the Bush Administration (as the young entrepreneur languishes in horror in the basement of the White house Bush is signing the continuance of the Civil Rights bill).  And of course there is a fascinating insiders look at nuclear weapons and terrorism that keeps insisting that it is not IF a suitcase nuclear bomb is exploded in a US city but WHEN.

It emphasizes the view point of each person in the narrative. Suskind has a bias towards integrity and values. It is a challenging book for me to revisit as the US election process continues its wild plunge out of control.

Here’s a link to a synopsis on the author’s web site: http://www.ronsuskind.com/thewayoftheworld/


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