Finding stories to live by

/ 17 December 2016

I’m deep into writing this week, buried in an avalanche of ways to think about stories, and to divert myself I read some right wing blogs (this always wakes me up). One of them pointed to an editorial cartoon, published right after the election:

This cartoon is by Steve Breen, and first appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune.

The right wing blogger was making a point about the fatuous nature of Democrats (a point with which I deeply disagree), but I started thinking about why this cartoon would both appeal to me (because it points to the more uplifting narrative President Obama seeks to share) and why it would provoke ridicule on the part of the right wing (because they’ve spent so long trivializing his appeal that they cannot see a larger narrative).

The stories we live by shape our actions, and the story which Trump is laying out is a very shallow one, built upon the slowly decaying carcass of neoliberal capitalism. The “carbon bubble” is about to burst, and we are about to end a very difficult period. I think the question of what will orient our moral compass is a very good one and I long for a national figure as eloquent as Obama to lead us. Maybe he will do so, even in an opposition role…