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Thursday, May 23, 1996

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  • Politics of Meaning

    There’s no doubt that we’re in a period of great cynicism about what government does or can do to improve our lives. Psychotherapist Michael Lerner believes this cynicism and the alienation that Americans feel are a direct result of the ethic of selfishness that pervades American politics, from the White House on down. Lerner is the author of a new book called The Politics of Meaning: Restoring Hope and Possibility in an Age of Cynicism. Michael Lerner gained national exposure when Hillary Rodham Clinton used his phrase "Politics of Meaning" in a speech; the media then started calling Lerner "Hillary’s Guru". Nonetheless, Lerner’s ideas are the foundation for a growing social movement in the U.S. that blends humanist politics with spirituality, and aims to provide a progressive answer to the power of religious right. Last month, over a thousand participants attended a first national conference in Washington D.C. We’ll now hear an excerpt of a speech by Michael Lerner in which he explains his concept of a politics of meaning and its importance in this era of conservative domination.

  • Commentary on the Promise Keepers.

    Tomorrow, 50 to 70 thousand men will gather in Washington’s RFK stadium for a rally of the Promise Keepers, a growing Christian men’s movement. In 1995, 13 different cities hosted these rallies, bring three quarters of a million men to sports arenas to praise the lord and promote the patriarchy. This year, nearly twice that many revivals are scheduled, from Boise, Idaho to Chicago, San Diego to New Orleans, Eugene, Oregon to Jacksonville, Florida. Commentator Lee Quinby of Hobart and William Smith College is concerned about the promises the Promise Keepers intend to keep. Lee Quinby is a professor of English at Hobart and William Smith College. Thanks to Mike Black of WEOS in Geneva New York for his production assistance.

  • Socialism in the U.S.A.?

    When voters go to the polls this November, they’ll be puzzled to discover that in many states a half a dozen or more candidates for President will be on the ballot. Most of these candidates usually get little or no media exposure and have little chance of influencing the outcome of election. But,they do represent alternative approaches to politics, and they are definitely not stereotypical politicians. In this second in a series of interviews with non-major party candidates for President, Pacifica National Affairs Correspondent Larry Bensky talks with Mary Cal Hollis, the Socialist Party nominee whose also a special education teacher in the Boulder, Colorado Public Schools.