Glad to see that your better angels won out. From your story, I think we must be roughly the same age.

I’m wondering about a couple thing, though. You were bought into the Reagan-era neoliberalism. But so were a lot of people. Did you change only because you discovered that sustainability was a higher priority, or did you also recognize that the original Friedman economic ideas have turned out to be disastrous, too?

You know, with its trickle-down economics and exclusive focus on short-term corporate profitability and stock prices above all else, many US companies have really hollowed themselves out over the past 30 years. They dried up their R&D, they stopped training, and they stopped trying to grow. Instead, they focused on reducing OpEx and CapEx. Now, except for the software tech sector, we find ourselves noncompetitive in manufacturing, energy, aerospace, industrials, and pharmaceuticals. Heck, we couldn’t even ramp up the production of simple cotton paper face masks!

There is now an emerging understanding that changes in corporate governance philosophies are a must-have for the future of our economy and for climate change. And, that neoliberalism’s flaws also explain how the American middle class has sunk closer to poverty.

Second, what do you make of the cult of Trump, the conservative Christians who literally worship Trump, Jesus, and Republicans in the same breath, with equal fervor and sincerity? Is this natural? What drove this massive brand-building exercise of Christian = Republican that started in the 1980s and continues today? It’s not theologically sound. Jesus condemned sin, taught and preached the way, then left it up to individuals to choose. You can’t be saved by imposed morality, but rather only by your choice to let him into your heart. Jesus was pro-choice. He didn’t impose. Free will, for sin or salvation, is a crucial part of the gospel. So how did Christians get to a theologically perverted idea of taking over the Supreme Court to stop sin?

And what about the extreme views of Trumpists today? Can you imagine what it must mean to belong to a College Republicans group today? You believe that representative democracy is not really the best way forward for our country. You believe that immigrants are just absolutely overrunning us, significantly impacting and straining all our country’s resources. You believe that progressives are hell-bent on government takeover and regulation of all industries and economic activities. You believe that the American health care system provides better care at a more efficient price than any other country in the world. Finally, you are just a little cruel. You believe that people who aren’t healthy really have no one to blame but themselves. Same with the poor.

What do you make of all this? There’s been an expansion of extreme beliefs in every area of propaganda that Fox has been pushing for the last 20 years. Do you think some of today’s media influences could have already been stalking you already in your formative years?

Conversation mover. Engineer. GenX. FL-CA-AL-TX-Korea.

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