As the days, weeks and months of the Trump presidency pass by, America becomes angrier and more divided. The nation has descended into a perpetual “us versus them” mentality, as the foundations of civic discourse (tolerance, civility, empathy) begin to tumble. I once thought that the 2016 election was the apex of the viciousness of contemporary American politics; instead, it appears as if the election was only a precursor for worse things to come. In the wake of this decline, I think it is necessary for us to look to our nation’s history books for pathways out of the rubble. If we are to progress from the decadence of the Trump Era, we must understand how civil politics once functioned.
During the campaign through to the inauguration, President Obama has laid out a change in style for US foreign policy, moving from, in his view, the unbalanced approach of the Bush administration to one that takes into account consultations with allies and the importance of negotiations. In her confirmation hearings (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/14/clinton-touts-smart-power-use/), Secretary of State Clinton gave a name to the new strategy, “smart power.”
This past week, a new scandal emerged from the Department of the Interior. Given how lurid the details to the scandal are, it is more than a little surprising that it has not had a more explosive effect, and it is disappointing that there has been little coverage of it on media outlets..