- Jay Kaufman
Election Day - November 8, 2022
Twenty-eight years ago, my name was on the ballot for the first time. Four years ago, for the first time in twenty-four years, it wasn’t. That first time, my attention was fixed, my expectations and fears personal. This time, my expectations and fears are both global and deeply personal. I fear for the future of our democracy. And I don’t know what to do about it. And as for attention, I’d so much prefer to play or listen to music, to write, anything to bring some light, some vitality, some harmony, some sense of efficacy to the chaos and uncertainty that is all about us.
And it’s not about party. For the longest time, it has been my sense that the Democratic Party has lost its way while the Republican Party has lost its soul. Violence and lies are now commonplace in what used to be political dialog. There have always been differences of opinion, separate and often competing values. The genius of the American experiment has been the invention of a framework for containing those differences. There have even been periods when lies and violence were dialog by another means. But to read the analysts and scholars, to listen to my own thoughts and feelings, are experiencing a flailing, if not failing, country.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself periodically given we to sadness, fear, despair in the face of the uncertainty and volatility that is the U.S. today.
So, the question for those of us committed to leadership in the public square is how do we fortify and nurture ourselves and each other in these times? And then, knowing that we are not alone in our uncertainty and fear – indeed it is virtrually universal, global even – what’s the role and nature of leadership appropriate for this American crossroads?
These are critical questions. Let’s think together. What do you think?