Cogitation 39.216 Saturday 28 September 2019 There’s a new day dawning in the USA where the two main political parties will again be on course to serve the common good.
Such is the conclusion I draw from a very recent book by Stanley B. Greenberg, RIP GOP: How the New America is Dooming the Republicans (Thomas Dunne Books, September 2019).
From polling, focus groups, and experience in advising presidents, prime ministers and CEOs, Stanley Greenberg sees a New America not only dawning but already here.
From the Introduction: This New America “is ever more racially and culturally diverse, younger, millennial, more secular, and unmarried, with fewer traditional families and male breadwinners, more immigrant and foreign born who are more concentrated in the growing metropolitan areas, which are magnets for investment and people. The New America encompasses a vast array of family types and working families in which both the men and women face growing challenges. The New America is ever more racially blended and multinational, more secular and religiously pluralistic. The New America embraces the country’s immigrant and foreign character. It now includes the college-educated and suburban women who want respect and equality in a multicultural America.”
The Republican Party has set itself up for a shattering defeat in the 2020 election. The groups that make up the Trump base will keep on pursuing their ends. However, the way the New America fought back in the 2018 election will dominate in 2020. By contrast, in 2020 the party of Lincoln will face “electoral defeats and fractures that allow the Republican Party to be renewed and win again.” Greenberg chastises Democrats, too, for losing sight of common people. He describes how they are on track to win the right to serve working-class people again. Eventually, representatives of both parties will come to a point where they work across the aisle for real people, all people, in their constituencies.
I hope my truncated summary whets some appetites to check out the book at the library, as I have, or even to buy a copy. The chapter titles are telling: The New America / The GOP Counterrevolution Against Multiculturalism / The Tea Party-Trump Decade / President Trump’s GOP in Battle / The New America Strikes Back / Is This All They Have to Offer Working People? / How Did Democrats Let Donald Trump Win? / After the Crash.
The book helps me see hope beyond the current state of affairs in USA politics. There is a happy ending ahead, Greenberg writes, “and that’s none too soon for all of us who’ve had enough fighting, enough division, enough politics. This time the end of politics portends a country united and finally liberated from gridlock to address the nation’s most serious problems.”
The book, with footnotes, runs to 328 pages. It includes plenty of graphs for those inclined to muse over the research data. I come away hopeful, encouraged, optimistic almost tasting goodness in all that’s in store for this country.
First week of autumn
Can you hear me?
People with hearing loss may be at a loss for words at all the help available right now.
Audiologists, a hearing loop professional, vendors, and staff of the Hearing Loss Association of America Michiana Chapter and the Hearing Life Committee of Greencroft Goshen came together for a conference at Nappanee (Indiana) United Methodist Church, Living Well with Hearing Loss, September 28.
As a person without significant hearing loss, I was challenged by the testimonials of people who said their lives were changed when they first experienced a public building equipped with a hearing loop. Such systems allow people with telecoil (T-Coil) equipped hearing aids to communicate clearly in noisy environments. Todd Billin, president and engineer of Hearing Loop Systems, Holland, Michigan. said T-Coils are making their way to many small and large areas in the US as the preferred way of fulfilling the needs of the hearing impaired.
Keynote speaker Juliette Sterkens, AuD, told the group that public buildings are required by law, since the American Disability Act of 1990, to have an assisted hearing system in place, just as for ramps and Braille signage. While not required of religious gathering places, it behooves those places to provide the service, too.
Hearing loss is often an invisible disability, Sterkens said. After her church installed the T-Coil system, one woman came to her in tears and said that was the first Sunday in 20 years that she could hear the sermon. Sterkens’ efforts have led to more than 730 loop installations in Wisconsin, including more than 400 places of worship around the country.
Audiologist Sharon Hirstein is an advocate for Looping public venues in the Elkahrt area. She addressed, “Understanding Hearing Loss: What’s New in Hearing Aids.” She noted that almost all new aids are equipped with a T-Coil. She said hearing aids can make up only half of a person’s hearing loss, though today’s technology can deliver speech or music as though the sender were sitting on your shoulder.
People tend to complain about their hearing aids, yet once they are assessed by an audiologist they’re on their way to an all-around improved quality of life. The presenters underscored that one should not self-diagnose a solution or order a hearing aid online. The services of a professional are the surest way of living well with hearing loss, both hearing aid users and presenters said.
A glorious day to you.