CNN Electoral Map 2020 as of November 9

Is “normal” in America really worth saving?

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Wow. What a week! For me, the dominant feeling now is simply relief. Soon, we won’t have to be relentlessly inundated with lies and petty tantrums. We will have a government that at least outwardly espouses decency. We can start to go back to normal after a long, brutal four years. 

The problem is: Normal isn’t enough. “Normal” in America falls far too short of providing freedom, justice, and opportunity to all. I find myself happy and relieved that we seem to have pulled back from the brink, but also heavy with the fear that this win – especially with the uncertain state of the Senate – will be more about simply preserving what is or what was than it is about stepping forward into something new. 

As we seek to build back what we lost, I think we have to confront some difficult questions:

Is “normal” in America really worth saving? After all that we’ve seen over the last four years and last several centuries, are there still core values and aspirations that we can build around together? What exactly is it that we want to build back?


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Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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