Politics

Engaging in Today’s Political Climate

As voters head to the polls for the November 6 midterm elections, we look back on past issues from two of our politically engaged journals, Tikkun and World Policy Journal, for advice on how to engage in today’s political climate.

Embrace and celebrate multiculturalism.

An increasingly diverse United States requires a multiethnic approach to governance that prioritizes social welfare, argues political science professor Terri E. Givens in “How the Left Can Right Itself” (World Policy Journal 34:1). “The focus must be on addressing inequality, strengthening unions, and developing immigration policies that include burden-sharing agreements and support for those caught in conflict areas,” writes Givens.

Uphold values with grace and vision.WPJ_34_1_cover

The editorial “Trump’s Evil Policies, Democrats Aligning with the Deep State, and the Left in Shaming and Blaming” (Tikkun 32:3) advocates using a forward-looking visionary approach to left-versus-right discourse instead of a reactionary approach that assumes “a posture of fighting off the bad instead of building the good.” This reactionary strategy, the editorial reads, “will do little to transform the dynamics at play and support the emergence of a just, compassionate, environmentally sensitive and love-supporting society that is badly needed.”

Consider all of the earth’s residents.

“We must push for nothing less than a transformation in the legal systems that govern humankind’s relationship with the earth,” writes Mari Margil in “The Standing of Trees: Why Nature Needs Legal Rights” (World Policy Journal 34:2). “Right now, a growing global movement is trying to shift both law and culture to recognize the legal rights of nature. . . . This is essential to get us away from systems that treat the natural world as if it exists solely for human exploitation,” writes Margil.

Transcend fear.

“We are at our best when we embody [a] message of love and resist fear. By contrast, governing by fear is deeply antithetical to our sacred call,” writes President of Pacific School of Religion Rev. Dr. David Vàsquez-Levy in “No Hate, No Fear” (Tikkun 32:3). “Through his barrage of executive orders, impacting thousands of immigrants and refugees, President Donald Trump has framed his leadership of the world’s most powerful nation by means of fear,” writes Vàsquez-Levy, calling upon us “as individuals and communities [to] show our creative strength, intellectual capacity, deep faith, and courage as we join angels and protestors proclaiming, ‘No hate, no fear! Refugees are welcome here!’”

“Stay outraged.”

World Policy Journal 34:1, “Stay Outraged: A Conversation with Masha Gessen”

In an interview with World Policy Journal, journalist Masha Gessen points out that, as moral authority degrades within the current administration, the way that society fights that degradation is by “maintaining a sense of outrage.” She urges us to recalibrate the moral compass by speaking out in the public sphere, pointing out abnormalities, extending beyond the liberal or conservative bubble, and aspiring to a glorious future. “Stay outraged,” Gessen writes, for by “protesting, by maintaining healthy public debates in the media and other public spaces,” we maintain a “sense of moral authority.”