Looking for the Moral Arc


Chicago youth waiting in line to attend a movie. ca. 1936

The kids in the New Era don’t remember the Old Paradigm, its variations, its code or virtues; instead they have entered a world dominated by invisible wealth and retail serfdom, overlaid with absolutes of ephemera–77,000 “liked’ the make-up meeting between Kanye and Wiz over twitter posts involving a former girlfriend. From outliers and spree killers to couch surfing and snapchat, they live in a world of temporary absolutes. Their passion moves like the wave in stadiums; massive participation, short term, gone. Can Bernie ride this wave? Can a generation without limits discipline itself? What will they craft from freedom? Will they vote?

In the other planetary tier are the Old School, warring coalitions still carrying the biases and teachings of virtue and hate from early generations, a group whose hooray is a last cause. They are looking not so much for settled resolutions on big issues (race, safety nets, the environment, marriage and abortion, women’s rights, whether opportunity restricts freedom, government, justice) as they are seeking wins–clear victory over the returning zombies that have haunted the paths of both sides.

So Hillary the zombie slayer goes to Flint, an Old School, New World battleground. Bernie remains behind. His view of identity politics and poverty is tied to income inequality and big banks.

If one candidate integrates these two schools, these warring souls, America’s dilemma will step progressively along its moral arc and promise.

Hillary Has ‘Half a Dream’ – The New York Times http://nyti.ms/23UlzTx


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