The White House

No matter what one's political affiliation it is hard to claim that the current administration has had a unifying effect on this country. It has, alas, also served to alienate us from several key foreign allies whose help we may one day wish we had: NATO, the UN, the Paris Accord..... At a personal level, as I speak to my students and friends, I discover that they have increasingly given up on the idea that politics can ever be honest. The claim of "fake news" that Trump has used to deflect criticism has worked as a short term goal, but as a long term strategy it has caused much of the American voting public to doubt everything done by any branch of the administration. The challenge here is therefore very personal. How can we maintain our sense of the basic goodness of people in the light of this? Can you do it? Can you remain principled? The arrogance of unprincipled leaders will surely spill over and tempt some of us, working at other levels, to similar (if smaller) compromises with our honesty. The "if-they-can-get-away-with-it-then-so-can-I" mentality is contagious, after all. These are testing times.