Friday, December 25, 2015

The incredible, unnerving pace of change

Even for a liberal, retired, baby boomer, the pace of change today is a bit unnerving.

Same sex marriage now endorsed by a majority of the Supreme Court. Transgender rights in the military now being recognized. Two minority women as the two most serious contenders to replace one of California's two long serving female U.S. Senators. Two Cuban men currently among the most likely Republican Party presidential nominees for the 2016 election. Barack Obama, the first African American U.S. President who was elected twice to the presidency, now entering his last year in office. Intolerance born of political correctness now threatening to dominate formerly liberal bastions of higher education. Long fought for reproductive rights for women threatened by older white men, a generation of sometimes passive younger women who didn't grow up in a period of back room abortions, and a movement to define "Personhood" as a constitutional standard to include the unborn. A current U.S. Supreme Court with no Protestant Justices. Century old, brick and mortar institutions of commerce, media and the like giving way to organizations such as Facebook built on an internet called the "World Wide Web". Smartphones everywhere even widespread in poverty stricken regions of the world. China emerging as a world power and major creditor of the United States. Thousands upon thousands of Muslim Middle Eastern refugees flooding into Europe possibly altering the faces of countries built upon their own ethnic identities and related nationalism. The emergence or reemergence of Islam as an organizing political ideology in many Muslim countries. Climate change in the form of global warming beginning to have a noticeable impact on everyday life. The disappearance of an American dominated uni-polar geopolitical world.

This pace of change is threatening to many, some of whom have become very receptive to leaders, movements, ideas and ideologies that pledge to slow the pace of change, provide seeming stability, and in many instances to restore a purportedly lost "natural order of things" that, not surprisingly, claims to resemble a past that never actually existed but that reflects an idealized past in the minds of those most threatened and stressed by these changes.