The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Citizenship” Category

Our Bridges Are Burned

Posted on February 8, 2019

I was in a car accident during a bleak snowstorm last week and as I worked my way through the process that always follows those in such situations, I took more time than normal to look through social media.  It was a mistake.   I’d always vowed not to fall into that rut … and then I did.   There was much to learn from those hours spent on the digital frontier, but little of it was edifying or even instructive.  What there was instead was a lot of shooting, manufactured mayhem and average citizens left hiding behind their doors and peering out their windows.  It wasn’t literal, of course.  The shooting involved enflaming words not bullets.  The mayhem wasn’t a melee of violence, but opinionating on anything and everything using Facebook,…

Are There Lessons For Us In Brexit?

Posted on February 5, 2019

Actually, there are dozens of things we can learn from Brexit chaos that has torn at the very fabric of Britain and the European Union.  British polls continue to verify that most respondents can hardly even recall what the referendum was about and most express confusion over whether there can be any hope for a successful outcome.  These lessons for politics, citizenship, populism and the media are vast and have some things to tell any lover of democracy. Much of the confusion likely comes down to political parties playing with the fear of the future that so empowered the populist movement in Europe in recent years.  British newspapers are discovering that, while many still hold to their positions to leave or stay, the vast majority can no…

Challenging Capitalism From Within

Posted on January 31, 2019

The field of Democratic candidates for 2020’s American election is mushrooming and it’s destined to expand further.  The infusion of left-wing socialism within the party has filled it with new life and not a little frustration.  Already divisions are making themselves apparent – an emerging reality that could either help or hinder the party as it seeks the steer the country away from right-leaning trends.  As Republicans have signed over their credibility to one leader who most don’t even trust, Democrats are struggling to get their legitimacy back without a real leader at the moment, other than Nancy Pelosi’s role in Congress. I confess to having been intrigued by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s influence on American politics for years, largely motivated, and frequently inspired, by her two…

The World Economic Summit and Faith

Posted on January 22, 2019

As I compose these thoughts, hundreds of jets are on their way to Davos, Switzerland for the 2019 version of the World Economic Summit.  As always, those in attendance will include capitalist barons, politicians, celebrities, researchers, UN and NGO delegations, and past, present and future national leaders. I write about the summit every year because, well, it is an important opportunity for the moral, anti-poverty, social justice and women’s movement leaders to speak to the elite and weigh in on the side of collective humanity. But in the last two years there is one group that has been asked to partner with the Davos organizers that will come as a surprise to many – faith leaders from around the world. There are some key and sensible…

More Vulnerable Than We Think

Posted on January 18, 2019

Their stories weren’t of the tragic kind, but in listening to some of the 800,000 American government workers who have been living without a wage during the country’s longest government shutdown, one couldn’t help but feel for them.  They had done nothing to deserve such treatment, yet they are losing mortgages, selling their cars, prematurely dipping into their retirement savings, and, in some painful images, taking their kids out of college.  If there is a trait of tragedy about the entire thing, it is to be found in the partisan mess that is American politics at the moment and how political leaders have become so calloused to the plight of millions – even if those workers are the ones actually keeping the government going instead of…