One of the great puzzles of the Trump presidency is why his supporters and his adopted political party continue to accept his ludicrous lies and assent to whatever he argues, however fantastic. Logic and reason do not explain why so many Americans are willing to countenance Trump’s continued attacks on journalists, for example, as lying conspiracy promoters and “enemies of the people.” These baseless claims, assaults on the very foundations of a free people, demand much cognitively of those adopting them to rationalize them, since they are so completely discordant with reality.
An acquaintance likes to describe the Old Testament Hebrew prophet Amos as the “truck driver” of the Bible’s seers, as he was straightforward, plain-spoken and fierce about his values and views. Those included, accurately, a belief that the northern kingdom of Israel would be destroyed. He was active as a prophet for only perhaps five years of his life (circa 750 BC) and was a vigorous critic of the Israelite rulers of that time.
I did not write a Soundings for this date since I have been out of the country. The column will return on the 30th of July. Best, Max
While Donald Trump is now well known for persistently lying to the American people about matters large and small, I was nonetheless surprised to read that he had sought to defend his ruinous and cruel immigration and border policy by declaring that the Democratic Party had at once created his approach and was preventing its realization
I have been reflecting on the apparently limitless human propensity for hatred and cruelty, especially as so many illustrations have been under discussion in recent days. I want to share two examples that have been reported on news sites, and then discuss one that happened decades ago, but resonates in today’s political and social climate.
On April 21 I traveled to Whitesburg, Kentucky, a small community of fewer than 2,000
people located in Letcher County, in the mountains of the eastern part of the state, with a group of gifted graduate students.
I am taking a break.
My friend and former colleague Wolfgang Natter died suddenly on April 29th.
To see the full list of Soundings commentaries, please click here.