Saturday, December 17, 2016


Opening a Church of the Open Road discussion

It has been over a month since our great land began the “smooth transition of power,” no matter how unsmooth the process appears this time around.  In those weeks, the awful rancor of the 2016 election has done anything but abate.  Although seemingly magnified now, it is a given that with the upcoming change in administration, some people will benefit and some people will – how do we say this? – benefit less.  Some folks will enjoy gains in wealth and security and personal satisfaction, some won’t.  That, it can be argued, is the normal result of any election. 

But our reaction has been anything but normal.  Or civil.  Fans of the president-elect still clamor for his opponent’s incarceration while foes of the outcome cry for some sort of postponement in the Electoral College process until all the facts are known about out-of-country influences in the campaign(s). These and other doubts, misgivings and finger-pointings are manifested on social media as a mélange of marginally literate tweets and/or barely factual Facebook memes designed to create sides and accentuate differences rather than bridge those differences.  The incoming administration appears to distrust the CIA, the CIA and the FBI struggle to look at the same evidence and arrive at the same conclusion, Congress refuses to take any action that might involve compromise or bipartisanship, while the person on the street has difficulty differentiating between news and outright lies cloaked as news. Meanwhile, no one is receiving the answers they want to hear to the questions they are asking.  The populace seems mired to its axles in the mucky aftermath of campaigns based less upon policy and issues and the better angels in us all, than in flashpoints of innuendo, character assassination and generally nasty behavior.  The result?  A country not moving forward.

Lee Iacocca, in a series of ads for Chrysler in 1992 said, “You either lead, follow, or get out of the way.”  [Actually that quote belongs to Thomas Paine and/or General George Patton.] One can only imagine that power brokers in other corners of the world, seeing our raucous disarray, might be of the opinion that the United States is about to tumble into that “get out of the way” posture.  Not an enviable position for the country that used to be the envy of all others.

So here comes the question:

Viewed through a lens framed by these words…

…form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty…

What positive actions can each of us take, rising above the currents of distrust and anger, to move us forward again as a country? 

The continued gnashing of teeth won’t get the job done.


A request:  The Church of the Open Road invites your response and you can do it in the comment section of this blog post, even though you may need to go through that “Captcha” authentication process.  Please do.  If you choose to respond on Facebook, where you may have first discovered a link to this post, know that I would like your permission to copy any comment you make* into the comment section of the blog.  That way, we’ll actually have a discussion.  [*You will show up as “anonymous.”]


What prompted all this?  A buddy of mine and I have been sharing our  - let’s call ‘em “concerns” – about the recent unfolding of events.  Apparently, he’d been having similar discussions with others when his daughter – perhaps growing weary of his bitching and whining, as, I know, many of my family members are – said, “We may be very unhappy with the outcome (of the election) but having repeated discussions of worry and consternation will not help.  We need to change the discussion and start talking about what is most important and then define the actions we need to take with respect to that which we deem most important.”  To which I would add:  “And then act.”

With the help of some “Church of the Open Road” community members such as you, perhaps we’ll begin to formulate a refined discussion and begin to move things forward, lifting ourselves out of the muck, mire and gloom and into a brighter tomorrow.

Thanks, in advance, for your thoughts and participation.

© 2016
Church of the Open Road Press


  1. I don't know the answer to your question, Dave. I really don't. I'm vacillating between anger and despair. OK, I'm going to go on the march (Sacramento version), and I'm donating as my means permit to those organizations dedicated to calling out the lies and pointing out the injustices. I've tried to do that all along and you can see where that's gotten us. It really is a post-truth America. Ideologically driven. Oligarchy. Incipient Fascism. I've driven off any Trump supporters from my Facebook reach by my insistent political obsessions. I've pissed off my best friends by insisting on facts over mythology. I can't let this become the "new normal". But I can't think of anything that will in any way slow our collective descent into the abyss.

  2. We must lend support to those organizations that can make their voices heard. I joined the ACLU the day after the election and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and belong to the Sierra Club, etc. And run for local board, city councils, sewer district...just start at the bottom and work on up. Voice your opinion to your representatives...addresses and phone numbers online, phone books, etc. Most of all, don't fall into silence and complacency!

  3. All politics are local. I believe it is time to use the tactics of the Tea Party. Press your local representatives when they hold meetings in your community. Ask for their positions on the issues. Sensible gun control, women's productive rights, and the environment are three issues that a majority of folks support. Write letters to your local newspaper detailing their responses. We can't do this alone. Communicate with like minded people and organize strong cadre who are willing to work for a reversal in 2018.

  4. I am of a mind as the others. Surprised by the outcome of the election and none to pleased. I plan to keep on keeping on. There are many discussions at the law office where I work on the election results and what could or might happen as a result. I think if we try to maintain some semblance of normalcy and at the same time rally our representatives, it might be the best course for staying sane.

  5. Well written, Dave (no surprise)...the best I can do is to raise issues to support. These come to mind for me: fracking (we all need clean water), social security for an aging population, support for public education, humanitarian efforts for peace...that's just a start.

    1. Also...go to Represet Us. This site is designed to end corruption and pledges to work with both conservatives and progressives...

  6. Oooph… You are a brave (or foolish) fellow for inviting political discussion on your blog. :D

    My politics?... I am independent; was disappointed with the options offered by the two main parties; am disgusted that our democratic republic has been boiled down to basically a two-party system it was never meant to be; believe that if the election was finally stolen by Putin, it was first conceded by the Democrats when they forced out Bernie (which doesn’t necessarily mean I’d have voted for him, but I believe he’d have had a much better chance against Trump)…

    That said, I’ll continue to live as I’ve tried to for many, many years now—as I had aspired to for decades—in the spirit of thinking globally and acting locally, embracing the only “scripture” that has ever made sense to me: to treat others the way I want to be treated. In my daily encounters with my fellow man (whether my fellow countrymen or not) I do my damnedest to be open and to learn about their lives and backgrounds and cultures—to listen before I speak.

    My hope is that they realize that this near-middle age, middle class, white guy is no threat and is genuinely interested in and curious and concerned about them—that they realize that most of us want the same things: opportunities to earn our keep and better ourselves and provide for our families and help our fellow man… Opportunities—and life, liberty, and the freedom to pursue happiness as we each perceive it.

    The greatest grassroots movement in the history of man would be for regular folks worldwide to simply open themselves up to each other and treat each other with respect. What a way to prove to all politicians that they simply aren’t as necessary as they think.

    I do indeed believe that idealism can defeat ideology…

    1. Thanks for the wise words, Ry. My hope is that the idealism you so aptly shared can take hold in others who may read your comment. Perhaps, because of voices like yours, out of the rubble of too-be-sure crappy electoral choices this time around, your thoughts offer a vision for a better tomorrow. Thanks again, friend.

  7. Mr. B, Well written and ambitious call to right action to move beyond "oh, the humanity, ain't it awful." Much to be done and I do not know where the greatest potential for positive impact resides. For now, it's step up contributions to Southern Poverty Law and Planned parenthood. Do not be silent when "Liberal" or "Conservative" are thrown about as pejorative terms. Be consistently civil. Be armed with facts yet stop wasting time disproving stuff that I know is BS given the source. Stop wasting time and mental energy on people who don't warrant the energy. Ask good questions to understand why people believe as they believe. Avoid the craziness at the extremes. Get very clear on my personal fall-on-sword issues and be a respectful, civil pit bull at impacting these issues. Still trying to understand what the best affiliations are. Thanks for starting the conversation.