It's one of philosophy's greatest and oldest questions: how should we live our lives? Seeking pleasure? Knowledge? Self-actualization? Is there meaning to be found in this life? Must we create it ourselves?
What happens when a society, once a model for enlightened progress, threatens to backslide into intolerance and irrationality? How should that society’s stunned and disoriented members respond? Do they engage in kind, resist, withdraw, even depart?
Perhaps the most remarkable (and, for many, alarming) political event in 2015 has been the rise of Donald Trump. At first, many people thought of Trump as an amusing sideshow. Over the months, mass-media talking heads (and also lots of my philosopher friends) kept repeating that there’s “no chance” of Trump getting the republican nomination, and therefore that there’s “no chance” of his becoming president of the United States. After each of his inflammatory statements, they declared that this time Trump has “gone too far” and predicted his downfall.