Walter Moss: On this Martin Luther King Day of 2018, where better to seek inspiration for “an act of imagination,” an ideal national vision than to MLK and RFK?
Walter Moss: In this present toxic environment, the ideas of Mohandas Gandhi and Hannah Arendt have important lessons to teach us.
Walter Moss: Is being called “old” an insult? When I was Trump’s age (eight years ago), I already considered myself old. Was I insulting myself for thinking so?
Walter Moss: More than a year ago, I wrote that “a Trump presidency would almost surely guarantee that we continue on a path to environmental suicide.” Trump is increasingly making that prediction a reality.
Walter Moss: After more than a half-year of Trump’s presidency, it is clear indeed that his anger, bombast, and lack of self-control have injured our country.
Walter Moss: Instead of the values Trump represents or pays lip service to, what we needed in the election was to prioritize values that reflected political wisdom such as respect for truth, compassion, empathy, prudence, humility, temperance, tolerance and a willingness to compromise.
Walter Moss: Although in our own poisonous and partisan environment, it is rare to find senators from different political parties cooperating, this was not always so.
Walter Moss: True enough that slavery has been over for a long time. But its evil effects and racism continue to live on.
In 2016, it was Donald Trump who came under fire for being too much of a Putin admirer. Now there are the FBI and congressional investigations into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign.
Several years ago, shortly after his short-story collection The Tenth of September appeared, he told an interviewer that he hoped his fiction fostered empathy by inducing in readers a sort of “temporary mind-meld” with certain characters.
What is happening at present in various parts of the world is a reaction against globalization, immigration, terrorism, and other phenomena that are changing people’s worlds faster than they can cope with, all encouraging nostalgic nationalism.
If Trump and many of his followers do not think the arts and humanities—and yes, the intellectuals who often support them—are important for us, for our national wellbeing, they are wrong.
Walter Moss: Since Donald Trump has become the presence we can no longer ignore, writers have discovered all sorts of literary works that seem to have presaged his bursting upon us.