Living in Society

Surviving a News Avalanche

Colorado, November 2010

It’s as if everything in the national and state government is approaching a breaking point. What might be broken? Any remaining faith we have that the United States is different from other nations in a positive way.

I can’t count how many significant news stories there were in the week leading up to this holiday weekend, at least a couple dozen. How to deal with them? Military training instructs us: bunker in and wait for the shells to fall before commencing an initiative.

I’m trying not to think about it going into end of year holidays. Yet, how could I not?

As I approach my 67th birthday, age may be a driver. I’m old enough to remember our country made contributions to peace and prosperity in the world. We did good things. I also see we are responsible for covert wars, military actions and civilian deaths in combat operations. We’ve not been a player only for good in a while.

During the run up to the 2016 election, anyone with knowledge of history, or even those just paying attention to the campaign, knew Donald Trump would be bad at the job of president. No one knew he would be this bad. What kind of man retreats from working on our many current issues to watch television and listen to the radio? That a president would do this, as media reports he is, is not good for our mutual, future prospects as a nation.

Groups formed to resist Republican governance after Trump’s victory. I’m skeptical of the efficacy of putting my elected officials on speed dial for daily or even weekly calls. Better than resisting, we should be voting them out, only we haven’t been able. Despite a “resistance,” Iowa Republicans maintained the trifecta control of the governorship, house and senate. We need to work smarter.

First we wait until the news avalanche finishes. Until we know the bottom — until the dust settles, giving us clear sight — it is difficult to make any meaningful effort. So for a few more weeks we hunker down and figure out where to go from here.

With all the news it has been difficult to know where “here” is. We will eventually recognize this place. Soon, I hope.