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Appropriate Existential Action

Howell Hurst Uncategorized


Mr. Trump’s inflammatory warlike rhetoric defines an irresponsible attitude raising the need for increased public attention to the phenomenon of his presidency. One could hardly be less sensitive than he is to the thin line that separates rationality from incoherency.

No public relations explaining by his Secretary of State of what his intemperate words mean can reduce the precarious effect his word might conceivably have on the uncertain personality of Kim Jong Un. This need not be taken lightly by anyone.

The world is already aflame with violence. It is manifest everywhere – in our own ghettos, in our police forces, in numerous military encounters worldwide, in the murders of children by deranged parents, in recurring terrorist attacks.

A calming voice is needed, and we are barraged by the flagrant words of a man commonly considered to be the leader of “the free world.” Such a technical definition does not work in this instance.

Restraint is needed, not flamboyancy. Intellect is required, not emotional venting. Supporters of such bombastic pomposity are themselves a sign of the dilemma of our times. Too many people, negatively impacted economically, are living on the edge – financially and mentally.

In frustration, they have grasped an emotionally frail straw hoping for salvation from their situation. The straw is fluttering in a gusty wind. This cannot continue, because it is truly emerging as an existential danger.

How to bring this volatile and giddy drama into focus whereby we as a people can regain some semblance of common sense in our government is the challenge. It is not an easy jigsaw to put into its proper place.

An initial step for all not enthralled with this macho bravado, for all who understand the concept of rational restraint, is to acknowledge the existential seriousness of the predicament facing us.

America’s executive, provocatively fingering nuclear triggers, however tentatively, to intimidate an already irrational adversary, is not acceptable behavior. The potential consequences of a miscalculation in this situation are not as simple as an ill-conceived chess move.

The 60% of Americans not taken in by the feeble bluster of the current executive need to find a means to come together and produce a solution. Public media are not the place from which to construct an answer.

Members of organizations such as Rotary, Lions Club, etcetera, need to set aside other pending plans and put this subject at the forefront of their weekly meetings.

They might wish to consider how to initiate national collaboration with each other’s organizations.

An existential situation requires that we citizens, the constitutional source of all legitimate influence in our democracy, revisit the meaning of existentialism: a philosophy that stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of our acts. Or- alternatively – of our inaction.

An existential situation, by the way, is one that materially life-threatens that choice and responsibility.

Food for thought.

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2 thoughts on “Appropriate Existential Action

  1. Well written and well reasoned except for the wish that Rotary and Lion’s Clubs lie down together on the road to stop this parade of right wing nationalists. This is not likely to occur as long as the red meat of tax cuts on the wealthy looms so strongly in the near future.

    1. Your remark may be true. Nonetheless, I think it is time to speak truth to power. Rotary and Lion’s claim patriotism even if not commonly activism in politics. This is an exceptional time. Just for the record, I’ll stick with my opinion even if it is unlikely to be listened to or considered or followed.

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