Not with a bang but a twitter

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper twitter            (apologies to T.S. Eliot)

“Trump’s myopic impulse to counterpunch whenever he feels attacked caused him to lose another news cycle and will overshadow an immigration proposal that the White House planned to talk about today,” James Hohmann, Washington Post (Oct. 9, 2017).

We’re missing the point – those working in the shadows want to be overshadowed. Consider, for example, that immigration proposal, which essentially exchanges the dreamers for Steve Bannon’s entire hard line on immigration. As we get hung up on the latest twitter storm, the administration dismantles the country.

Three movements marked my coming of age five decades ago: civil rights, environmental protection and peace. They share a simple theme: respect for the earth, for each other, and for other nations and cultures.

They were met with resistance, often violence, and they sometimes lost their way. But they made a difference. We breathe cleaner air in America and drink cleaner water than we did 50 years ago; more and more diverse people participate in our politics as voters and officeholders; and the world has witnessed a sharp decline in both wars and their casualties. All that is now under siege, most recently with today’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

The civil rights, environmental, and peace movements share something else: hope – a belief that we can make the world a better place and the determination to try to do so. While we are lulled by tweets, that hope is also under siege. We need to stop being diverted and to get to work.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.