The rise of thoughtlessness and the inability to think along with the demonization of vulnerable others constitute a political epidemic and do not augur well for democracy. Americans live in a historical moment that annihilates thought. A culture of cruelty and a survival-of-the-fittest ethos in the United States is the new norm and one consequence is that democracy is on the verge of disappearing or has already disappeared! Where are the agents of democracy and the public spaces that offer hope in such dark times? What role will progressives play at a time when the very ability of the public’s ability to translate private troubles into broader systemic issues is disappearing? How might politics itself be rethought in order to address the pedagogical and structural conditions that contribute to the growing intensification of violence in all spheres of American society? What role should intellectuals, cultural workers, artists, writers, journalists, and others play as part of a broader struggle to reclaim a democratic imaginary and exercise a collective sense of civic courage? What is now clear is that not only is pedagogy linked to social change but also to the production of modes of agency and the institutions that make radical change possible. Education as a political force makes us both the subjects of and subject to relations of power. The key is to expand that insight so as to make education central to politics itself. That is a lesson we can learn from both Arendt and Hofstadter.
 Surprisingly, a good take on this issue can be found in Thomas L. Friedman, “Trump’s Wink Wink to ‘Second Amendment People’,” The New York Times, [August 9, 2016] Online:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/10/opinion/trumps-ambiguous-wink-wink-to-second-amendment-people.html?_r=0; see also, David S. Cohen, “Trump’s Assassination Dog Whistle Was Even Scarier Than You Think,” Rolling Stone Magazine, [August 9, 2016]