The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

In his final State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Obama reiterated the pleas for bipartisanship he has made frequently since taking office.  He understands all too well that the cultural and political polarization which have seized the American nation more tightly than at any time since the Civil War are inherently dangerous.  But, his calls have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears.  Why?  Have Americans become significantly more unreasonable in recent decades.  Yes, that’s probably true;  however, Americans’ unreasonableness is only a symptom and not the cause of a far larger problem.

The times we’re living in are dominated by existential threats and uncertainties unprecedented in human history.  The world has gotten too big, too complex for our obsolete economic and political systems to manage.  The specters of climate change, regional conflict, institutional corruption, and social stratification loom large over the dwindling prospects for…

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