From the Editor's Desk

Article excerpt

Political soundbytes are dominating the American ear. Pundits comment that the "din" in this election cycle is louder and more raucous than in recent history. Many, both in the United States and around the world, believe this is one of America's most tumultuous political campaigns. Some question, under an unfortunate and inappropriate sense of polarization, whether one candidate's position or another s is loyally part of the democracy at all. Some wonder if this polarizing inability to approach commonality signals that the political processes themselves are irreparably broken. Some question if all the noise is counter-productive to the process of being a nation, a community of persons seeking the common good for America itself and the world. But I wonder.....

Congresses, parliaments, councils, and political assemblies have often been filled with brash language, strident beliefs, strong argument, sometimes the coarsest of language or a determined push or shove, or even the pulling of an opponent s beard! Perhaps we are a bit too enamored of some of the elegant and serene portraits painted at the end of such gatherings. The processes that preceded the artist's work were anything but elegant and serene. So why do events like national elections elicit such strong and uncivil behaviors? Simply, because every time a democratic people approach their national elections, it is a time of re-invention, of rebirth. And no birth is easy.

In this election year, Americans are about something far deeper than simply the triumph of one party or another. The real issue is not about a winning platform. Rather, it is about being reinvented in the original vision and future interpretation of what it means to be a people. Such a reinvention necessarily is preceded by the loud and raucous debate of differing ideas, colliding concepts, stretching goals, and competing values. While we are in the fray, the exchange and debate will always be fiery, born of passionate beliefs about what it means to be a people. We should expect nothing less.

For our profession, the passion of this years American elections is familiar territory. …

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